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Otha Turner Memorial Picnic and Goat Roast
21 Dec 2013
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Description

Othar Turner, called “Otha,” was a Mississippi farmer who was one of the last people in the country to play fife-and-drum music, an endangered genre that predates the blues in the Deep South. Turner began hosting Labor Day picnics behind his house sometime in the 1950s, playing music and cooking goat for friends and family. Word spread, and today, a decade after Turner’s passing, the party is larger than ever. Granddaughter Shardé Thomas and the family band still anchor the picnic with their hypnotic fife-and-drum tunes. But many other Mississippi musicians—including legends such as T-Model Ford, the late R. L. Burnside, and the North Mississippi Allstars—have also graced the makeshift stage over the years. ­

The Otha Turner Memorial Picnic is an annual blues and roots music 'festival' started by fife-legend Otha Turner... late afternoon till late at night -- including Otha's granddaughter Sharde & the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Blue Mother Tupelo and many more acts. Often Kimbroughs, Burnsides and others perform. Goat (and 'regular') BBQ available.

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This event is featured on the Year of the Rural Arts Calendar of Events. For more information on the Year of the Rural Arts, visit www.artoftherural.org

Tags
Dance Performance Song Community Heritage In the Streets Local Rural YORA Festival/Celebration Southeast African American Folklorist Musician Blues Mississippi Music Picnic
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