William Christopher Handy was born in 1873 in the Shoals city of Florence, Alabama. Since 1982, the Music Preservation Society (MPS) has been honoring and celebrating the "Father of the Blues" with an annual ten day series of events held in the Northwestern part of Alabama. This year we proudly recognize our 31st festival; last year we were honored with recognition by the Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the Top 10 events for 2011.
2013 W.C. Handy Jazz Camp
The W.C. Handy Jazz Camp is open to middle school, high school, college level and adult musicians. The purpose of the camp is to provide intense instruction in the theory, history and the performance of jazz, and big band literature. The faculty has performance and teaching experience in all aspects of music and provides a unique learning opportunity for the student. Click here for a brochure and an application/registration form.
2013 Design Competition
You are invited to submit your idea for the artwork design for W.C. Handy Music Festival 2013. The winning design will be used to publicize the Handy Festival and reflect its theme on t-shirts, posters, brochures, and other memorabilia, as well in several advertising formats. Click here for complete details and an entry form.
2013 W.C. Handy Music Festival Headliner: "An Evening with Keb' Mo' "
About Keb' Mo'
Recipient of multiple W.C. Handy Blues Awards, and a three-time Grammy winner for Best Contemporary Blues Album,
Keb' Mo' is one of the premier artists that has been at the top of the "must see" list for the W.C. Handy Music
Festival for several years. He released his self-titled debut in 1994 and became a fresh face in blues/roots music.
Keb's genre-blending artfulness, intuitive lyrics, unique guitar style, distinctive voice, and magnetic charisma on
stage have gained him a tremendously loyal fan base and the significant honor of being called, "a musician's musician".
During his vibrant 19-year career, you may have heard him on television as a composer or providing a theme song (listen
closely to the "Mike & Molly" theme), or even seen him in an occasional acting role. He was a part of two PBS specials:
"Live at Infinity Hall," and "Red, White and Blues, In Performance at The White House."In 2006, Keb' took a two-year
hiatus from recording to focus on his family, and work on film and TV projects. His album "The Reflection," released in
2011, was a journey deep into life and an even greater expansion of his musical body of work. It was the first new studio
album by Keb' Mo' since 2006, and the product of an important period of personal and professional growth for the artist
formerly known as Kevin Moore. In that time, he started a new family; moved from Los Angeles to Nashville; built a
state-of-the-art home studio, and founded his own record label.
Where: Norton Auditorium University of North Alabama When: July 27, 2013 7:30 pm Tickets: $40 General Admission or $125 VIP Package which includes two reserved seats, one CD,
artist photo, Official Handy T-shirt and more surprises! Order General Admission tickets in advance online below. Tickets
may also be available at the door. VIP tickets may be reserved in advance by calling 256-766-7642, VIP tickets will be
available for purchase beginning in mid-July at the Handy Festival Office located at the
Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts.
General Admission only; see above for VIP ticket information.
Sponsored by: Music Preservation Society * University of North Alabama *
About the 2012 Winning Festival Design
This year's winners are a team of undergraduate students from the University of North Alabama; Savannah Trammell from Rogersville, Alabama; Taylor Noblit from Tuscumbia, Alabama; and Kristen Dunn from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The design was created as a class assignment for an honors computing course taught at UNA by Ron Davis, Assistant Professor of Computing Information Systems. All three students are members of the UNA Honors Program.
Rules and forms for entering the 2013 poster design contest will be posted here.
New in 2012
Our interactive map is now available thanks to the UNA Geography Department. You can find participating event locations, accomodations, restaurants and parks through this eays to use interactive tool.
If you need specific driving directions to include distance and time, it's all there. Browse by cities to narrow your results and plan your event route.