Delta Heritage Center selected for State’s songwriters competition
BROWNSVILLE TN (December 6, 2019): Calling all songwriters. Sign up for “Tennessee Songwriters Week” Qualifying Rounds for a chance to perform at The Bluebird Cafe as part of Tennessee Tourism’s annual Tennessee Songwriters Week. The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, Brownsville, has been chosen as one of the qualifying venues.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is expanding its second annual Tennessee Songwriters Week in 2020 with the addition of qualifying rounds across the state. Starting December 9, songwriters can sign up to perform at qualifying rounds that will be held at venues across the state during the first two weeks of February.
“We host regular songwriter events, so we are excited to be chosen for the state event,” says Sonia Outlaw-Clark, director of the Delta Heritage Center. “This fits perfectly with our mission to preserve and promote the musical heritage of our area and what better way to do this than by giving our area’s current singer/songwriters a chance to showcase their incredible talents.”
Ten West Tennessee locations will host qualifying rounds. The venues are:
• Blues Landing, Buchanan
• West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, Brownsville
• Big Buck Resort. Hornsby
• Southern Legends of Music at the Carnegie, Jackson
• Tennessee Delta Music Room, Old Country Store, Jackson
• AB Cheatham’s Downtown Tavern, Martin
• Historic Park Theatre, McKenzie
• Memphis Rock ‘N Soul Museum, Memphis
• Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis
• The Latta Theatre, Selmer
The full confirmed list of official qualifying round venues can be found at tennesseesongwritersweek.com.
Sign-ups will be handled directly by each individual venue. Songwriters should contact venues directly for specific information regarding sign-ups. Qualifying rounds are scheduled to take place between Feb. 1-15, 2020.
According to Outlaw-Clark, the Delta Heritage Center competition is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, and will include up to 25 songwriters. Sign-ups begin Monday , Dec. 9, 9 a.m., and will last until all 25 spots are filled or until Friday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. To sign up, call the Center at 731-779-9000.
Top songwriters from the official qualifying rounds will perform during one of the six “Tennessee Songwriters Week” showcases in the following cities:
• Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 – Puckett’s in Franklin
• Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 – Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis
• Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 – The Bijou in Knoxville
• Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 – Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga
• Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 – Ole Red in Gatlinburg
• Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 – The Down Home in Johnson City
Finalists from the showcases get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share their original songs on the historic stage at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The Bluebird Cafe’s long-time open mic night host and songwriter Barbara Cloyd will serve as emcee at the showcases, and a panel of local judges will select the top songwriter from each event. Six total finalists (1 from each showcase event) will receive a prize pack and perform their original material during the finale event at The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, March 29, 2020.
Songs will be evaluated and scored on a numerical scale considering both the song and the performance. Judges look at originality, vocal and/or instrumental talent and the ability to create an emotional connection to the audience.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partnered with the Bluebird for the showcase events, which emphasize a state statute honoring songwriters passed in 2018. It annually designates the last full week of February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week.” The week is designed to celebrate the foundation of the craft, recognize past and present songwriters and pave the way for future artists.
Separate from the qualifying rounds, venues and businesses are encouraged to participate in the second annual Tennessee Songwriters Week (Feb. 23-29, 2020) by programming special events such as songwriter showcases, in-the-rounds and educational opportunities to celebrate songwriters and drive visitation.
For more information and ongoing updates, visit tennesseesongwritersweek.com. Join the conversation on social using #TNsongwritersweek.
About the Center: The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, is a music heritage destination that offers a refreshing Southern experience showcasing the history and culture of rural West Tennessee. Inside visitors can learn about the history of cotton, explore the scenic and “wild” Hatchie River and get to know the legendary musicians who call West Tennessee home. Also located on the grounds is the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner, and the last home of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes. The Delta Heritage Center is also a featured stop along the Americana Music Triangle connecting Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. To learn more about the Center, visit www.westtnheritage.com or call 731-779-9000.