Jonesboro will be a live music mecca on Saturday, April 14, as the Arkansas Roots Music Festival takes over the city.
"The Delta is the cradle of American popular music and the American south in general," Michael Doyle, KASU station manager, said. "All of the diversity of cultures of people who lived here, the African Americans, the Scots Irish, the English, the Jewish people, Hispanics, the Cajuns. We live in the fertile heartland of American popular music, Diana and our Roots Festival celebrates that."
Doyle helped to coordinate Arkansas Roots Music Festival.
"Our site has been the CWL Park on Culberhouse and Cherry," Doyle said. "Unless Justin adjusts his forecast, we very likely could be moving to our rain venue—which is room 1028 in the Humanities Building. That’s that big beautiful new building in the middle of the ASU campus. Real close to Wilson Hall and the library. And we may have to go there—unless he can change his forecast."
Arkansas Roots is a radio program regularly presented on KASU. The Arkansas Roots Festival grew out of the Delta Symposium offered each year on campus. The line-up grows every year.
"Noon to five Saturday. We have two sets of brothers. The Spencer Brothers from Paragould open it up and the Arkansas Brothers close it out," Doyle said. "In between we have Teto Deler who is coming from New York City. Wilkinson James. We have the Rising Star Fife and Drum." The fife is a small flute. "Fife and drum bands were common in the Revolutionary War," Doyle explains. "Somehow that tradition made its way to northern Mississippi. And there’s a tradition that goes back maybe 200 years. And the granddaughter of the legendary Othar Turner, is still keeping that tradition going. We’ve had them here before. They are something to hear and see."
The Arkansas Roots Concert is free and open to the public. It will run from noon to 5 p.m. at City, Water & Light Park. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside to the auditorium in the Humanities and Social Science Building at ASU.