Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Webster's Dictionary defines an institution as a "significant practice, relationship or organization in a society or culture." An institution is baseball on a summer's eve. It's apple pie cooling on a windowsill. It's the Superbowl.
Cities can be built on institutions. Hell, cities can be "saved" by institutions. Just look at New Orleans. Despite the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, folks still gathered to celebrate the "institution" of Mardi Gras. Even as the city was crumbling around them, Mardi Gras was too important to let die, even for only one year.
Guess what? Figuratively speaking, Jackson is beginning to crumble. And we have our own "institution." It's called Jubilee!JAM. For 18 years, we've had a love/hate relationship with JAM. It got rained on some years. In others, the heat was unbearable. Sometimes you were entertained. Sometimes you complained. But through it all, you showed up during those 18 years. Then suddenly—it was gone. And as with most mainstays that we come to take for granted, you didn't realize how much you missed it until it wasn't there.
Now it's back, and hopefully, it's here to stay. This Friday marks the return and 20th anniversary of JAM. It promises to be bigger and better than ever. But just pulling it off is not enough. JAM has to have the support of the citizenry. It has to continue to appeal to the young and the old, black and white alike. In a city with a deteriorating tax-base, limited tourist attractions and stalled redevelopment projects, JAM is one of those things that we should brag about.
Each year, thousands of people flock to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival or Essence. Birmingham welcomes all of Alabama to its City Stages Festival. Jackson could be the next summer tourist spot, but only if we dig deep into our pockets and shell out those big bucks. Now, I know the price of gas is ridiculous, but this weekend we need loyal Mississippians to bring their whole family downtown and spend money—on both days. Take in the sights, eat 'til you bust, enjoy fellowship and most of all enjoy great entertainment.
This year's line-up is one that few festivals could rival, with two huge headliners: Ludacris and the Black Crowes. My man Luda's been making waves for years. Multi-platinum albums and Oscars notwithstanding, this will be his second trip to Jackson, and finally the young folks are excited about JAM. The Black Crowes have moved millions off the shelves as well. After a brief break-up, they're back together and fans are anxious to see them!
JAM organizers have shown love and respect to homegrown talent, too, and this makes me particularly happy. Besides the numerous visual artists brought to you by the Jackson Arts Collective, you will be able to enjoy the best and brightest this state has to offer. Jonezetta, Owen Beverly, Storage 24, Colour Revolt and Jesse Robinson's Blues Band will represent us. Make sure you support all of these guys when they perform. I have the honor of performing Friday night on the main stage. Before the headliner, no less. I'm bringing out the live band and a show that will wow all of you—I promise!
This will be one the whole family can enjoy. You'll go away a fan. And that's the truth ... sho-nuff!
hope to see you all out JFP lovers..Ill be going on at 9:40 on friday...come check me out...and thanks in advance