The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, This is Noteworthy (TIN), and OUTGrads announce a free concert featuring The Shindellas at 7:30 pm October 22, 2023, at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have our friends The Shindellas come to Mississippi as they promote their latest album,” says Becca Finley, founder of This Is Noteworthy. “Their energy, harmonies, and kindness are unparalleled. Bring on the women who spread LOVE.”
The free show will kick off the University’s Homecoming Week. In addition to the concert, The Shindellas with be participating in an LMR Live with Nancy Maria Bolach on Monday, October 23 at 1 pm in the Mobley-Collins Studio Theatre at the Ford Center.
“We are excited to have The Shindellas perform as part of our annual arts and music festival, Sarahfest. The festival is made possible through collaboration such as the one we have formed with dynamic nonprofit This Is Noteworthy. We can’t wait for them to share their music with our university and larger Oxford community. The concert will be stellar and is a great way to kick off Homecoming Week!” says Theresa Starkey, associate director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.
The Shindellas are a band formed under the belief that when women come together, powerful change can happen. They are advocates aligned under the tenets of sisterhood, excellence, elegance, and empowerment.
The concert is free and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information on the Shindella’s Concert, call 662-915-5916 or visit the website https://www.sarahfest.rocks/.
Since hitting the scene back in 2017, The Shindellas, (Kasi Jones, Stacy Johnson, and Tamara Chauniece), who hail from the music city of Nashville, have been on a mission to impact music with their unique sound and style. Hand-picked by Multi-Grammy-nominated production and songwriting duo Chuck Harmony & Claude Kelly (Rihanna, Miley, Jazmine Sullivan, Ledisi, Fantasia, and more), The Shindellas were fueled by the opportunity to make music that would not only matter to them but ring true to the listeners. As a result, the ladies tapped into retro sounds of R&B/Soul influences to bring forth a sound they dubbed as ‘New American Soul’ with hints of The Clark Sisters, EnVogue, The Pointer Sisters, and LaBelle. Effortlessly displayed, they not only evoke emotion through harmony but the beauty of music is evident on their recently released debut album Hits That Stick Like Grits via Weirdo Workshop/The Orchard.
The 14-track album showcases each voice that blends to sound like one. The album’s lead single “Money” remains a fan favorite. Other releases featured on the album include “Fear Has No Place” and “When You Are Lonely.” Celebrity fans include names like Beyonce, Missy Elliott, and Anita Baker. Last year, they made history as the first R&B band to perform at the 2021 CMT Awards, and performed on the 2021 “CMA Country Christmas.” The Shindellas have been featured on NPR, appeared at the Essence Festival of Culture, performed at the TEDxNashville Women, and more. The Shindellas, at their core, are pitch-perfect. Their tone is penetratingly beautiful.
Music festivals have a hallowed place in the annals of Women’s Liberation. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; women’s liberationists understood how interrelated culture and politics are, how what possibilities we can imagine and rights we can claim are connected to the stories we tell and the images we see.
The spirit of Sarahfest is part of that legacy and its genesis is located in the vision and creativity of former gender studies minors and faculty who worked together to create their own music festival almost two decades ago. With the help of former director Deborah Barker, Kirsten Dellinger, and Annette Trefzer, the Sarah Isom Center’s visionary students organized a benefit concert at a restaurant on the square called Two Stick. Local business in the community came on board to support the students by donating door prizes and Two Stick donated the space. These former gender studies students did something amazing that night. By working together, with faculty, and with local business, they constructed a bridge between the university and larger Oxford community. They made magic and music.
In 2015, the Center reignited that creative, community flame. As its new torchbearers, we get to carry that spirit forward. Our task is to build upon that legacy, to build community, and we invite you to keep imagining right along with us.
We strengthen community when we celebrate and embrace its diversity in all its variations. Twining the arts and education enables us to create dynamic spaces for change, where we can envision new realities that reflect a better more equitable world for all.