JACKSON – GRAMMY Award® winners and Mississippi natives The Band Perry will headline the Governor’s Concert for the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration South. The free event kicks off celebrations around the state during 2017.
“We are honored to celebrate the 200th anniversary of statehood with world-renowned musicians who make Mississippi’s music known around the globe,” said Gov. Phil Bryant. “With blues, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll and country music from our greatest songwriters and performers, this concert represents all Mississippians.”
The Band Perry will lead the lineup on April 1 at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport. The concert will also feature GRAMMY nominee Vasti Jackson, recording artist Paul Thorn and Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, featuring Gulfport native and Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe Johnson.
The Governor’s Concert will begin with “We Are Mississippi,” an orchestral salute to the state’s musical heritage conducted by Dr. Jay Dean, Executive Director of the Arts Institute of Mississippi. The showcase will also feature the Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi, 2015 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest winner David Lee, the Mississippi Bicentennial Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Bicentennial Singers and the 200-voice Mississippi Bicentennial Chorus.
“The city of Gulfport is excited to host this incredible event with talent from around Mississippi and our own hometown hero, Jaimoe Johnson,” said Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes.
A full slate of additional events are planned for March 31 and April 1 at Centennial Plaza, located at 200 E. Beach Boulevard. The events include ongoing live regional entertainment, a “Salute to Mississippi and the Military” exhibition and the “Taste of Mississippi,” pairing coastal and international cuisine with local craft beers. The United States Postal Service will also unveil the new Mississippi Commemorative Stamp on March 31 at 11:00 a.m.
“It promises to be the party of the century,” said George Schloegel, chairman of the South Mississippi Bicentennial Committee.
All events during the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration, including the Governor’s Concert, are open to the public with free, ticketed admission. Attendees must reserve tickets online at www.visitmississippi.org/200 for each day they wish to attend. Visitors are limited to six tickets each.
“This Mississippi-made, all-star lineup is a fantastic way to celebrate 200 years of statehood,” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. “I encourage everyone to reserve their tickets online now. With popular acts like The Band Perry and a strong lineup of attractions throughout the event, we expect to have a full house.”
Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration events are also planned for the north and central regions of the state, in Oxford on June 24 and Jackson on Dec. 9 during the grand opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. For more information on the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration, please visit www.visitmississippi.org/200 and www.ms200south.org.