The MSU Riley Center recently announced the lineup for its newest spring and summer series featuring artists from a variety of musical genres including celebrated, award-winning musicians.
Executive Director Dennis Sankovich said he and his team have been working hard over the last six months securing the talent, and he is pleased with the overwhelming positive response from Thursday’s announcement.
“People’s reactions to the new season have been wonderful, which is super,” he said. “The spring and summer series offers a variety of acts and it’s something for everyone, which is neat to see.”
Sankovich said the center’s location in Meridian as well as the state of Mississippi in general provides a fantastic center of America’s music.
“We’re centered in that American music triangle between Nashville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn. and New Orleans, La.,” he said. “We try to book artists that exemplify that Americana music experience along with pairing that with new artists and new opportunities for our audiences.”
Completed in fall 2006 after a renovation of the old Grand Opera House, Sankovich said the center has seen significant growth over the years.
“We’re continuing to grow as more and more people throughout the state are finding out about us,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest and it’s catching on, which is very exciting.”
The spring series begins with a performance by Grammy award-winning artist Aaron Neville accompanied by his brother Charles on Friday, April 12.
Sankovich said the upcoming performance by singer-songwriter Jewel will be a special treat for audiences.
“As an artist, her show will be perfect for the MSU Riley Center,” he said. “Seeing Jewel by herself with only a guitar on stage will be a special experience for people to see.”
Beginning in April and ending in August, the spring and summer series includes: Neville; Boz Scaggs; Jewel; The Blues Brothers Revue; The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill, Dawn Sears, Kenny Sears and Ranger Doug Green; Keb’ Mo’; Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; Don McLean; The Heart Behind the Music featuring Kim Carnes, John Ford Coley, Gene Cotton and Lenny LeBlanc with special guest Greg Barnhill; and The Hit Men: The Original Stars of Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons.
Sankovich said one of the center’s most attractive qualities is the familiarity the venue provides for both artists and audiences.
“This is such a special place for the performers when they play here because of the intimacy range with the audience,” he said. “People have responded to the quality and value of the experience when seeing a concert here. This venue is very special to MSU and the state of Mississippi.”
For more information on the current and new seasons at the MSU Riley Center, call 601-696-2200 or visit http://www.msurileycenter.com .