Media Advisory: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams
Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library
2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067
Blues activist/storyteller Robert B. Jones Sr. performing this week at Birmingham Public Library
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Blues activist/storyteller Rev. Robert B. Jones Sr. took patrons of three Birmingham Public Library (BPL) locations on a musical journey from Negro spirituals to gospel, from blues to rock-n-roll on Monday, Sept. 19.
In performances at the Central Library, North Avondale Branch Library and Springville Road Regional Library, Jones showed why he has built a loyal following for over 20 years combining music, humor, and storytelling. Today, Sept. 20, Jones will give three more free performances: Wylam Branch Library, 4300 7th Ave. Wylam at 10 a.m.; Powderly Branch Library, 3301 Jefferson Ave. SW at 1:30 p.m.; and Avondale Regional Branch Library, 509 40th St. South at 6 p.m.
Jones will also perform six more times at other BPL locations on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 22. See full schedule below and at a BPL blog link below: http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2016/08/storyteller-reverend-robert-b-jones-sr.html
A Detroit native, Jones, 60, grew up in a Southern-influenced household. His father was from West Pointe, Mississippi, while his mother is a native of rural Conecuh County, Ala. His grandmother's record collection exposed him to all types of music when he was growing up, especially the blues.
In an interview after his Central Library performance, Jones talked of how he built his unique style that combines storytelling, vocals, and instrumental music on the guitar, banjo and fiddle to explore African-American culture from slavery to today.
“This program is specifically about teaching kids that much of American music as a whole today is built upon African-American music,” Jones said. The kids were very energetic today. It’s important to pass on the tradition of music to our youth.”
Jones said he started out playing the guitar in his late 20s. He didn’t know much music, so he used stories to fill out the time during his performances.
“Once I became a more professional musician, folks said keep the stories in. I’ve been really blessed to bring stories to my performances for almost 30 years. I’ve been to Germany, Czech Republic, England, but nothing like playing in Alabama because that’s where my roots are.”
Jones calls his music entertaining, but also educational. “If people find my performances entertaining, educational and inspirational, I hope I’ve done my job,” he said.
For more information on Robert B. Jones, visit his website at http://www.revrobertjones.com/
Schedule of Appearances
Tuesday, September 20
Wylam Branch Library, 4300 7th Ave. Wylam, 10 a.m.
Powderly Branch Library, 3301 Jefferson Ave. SW, 1:30 p.m.
Avondale Regional Branch Library, 500 40th St. South, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 21
Five Points West Regional Branch Library, 4812 Ave. W Ensley, 10:30 a.m.
Titusville Branch Library, #2 6th Ave. SW, 2:15 p.m.
Central Library, 2100 Park Place, 4 p.m.
Thursday, September 22
Smithfield Branch Library, #1 8th Ave. W, 10 a.m.
Pratt City Branch Library, 509 Dugan Ave., 12 p.m.
North Birmingham Regional Branch Library, 2501 31th Ave. N, 4 p.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BPL
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at www.bplonline.org
and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.