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Free Concert in the Park to feature Cedric Burnside, local sensation the WANDA Band

Published on October 9, 2023

Big Spring Park will have an epic case of the blues when Grammy award-winning artist Cedric Burnside takes the stage for a special performance on Thursday, Oct. 19.

The free concert is a celebration of the Music Cities Convention, being held in Huntsville Oct. 18-20. The concert is presented by Arts Huntsville, which hosts the annual Concerts in the Park series, and the Huntsville Music Office.

Music begins at 6 p.m. in Big Spring Park West at the Huntsville Museum of Art. Food trucks will have concessions available for purchase.

“Concerts in the Park has always been about bringing our community together through the power of music,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Executive Director of Arts Huntsville. “We are thrilled to partner with the Huntsville Music Office for this special fall edition, and we can’t wait to celebrate the Music Cities Convention with a night of incredible music in the heart of our city.”

Burnside is the grandson of legendary Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside, a seminal influence on the internationally acclaimed band The Black Keys. Huntsville Music Officer Matt Mandrella said he’s excited to hear Burnside’s explosive blues sound in downtown Huntsville.

“Cedric Burnside is one of the most dynamic artists on the planet,” Mandrella said. “Showcasing a generational talent on one of the most coveted stages in Huntsville is an experience that we’re really excited to bring to our community. He’s a performer who captivates every audience he gets in front of and leaves everyone wanting more.”

Burnside’s father, Calvin Jackson, played drums for both R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. At age 13, Cedric began touring with R.L. as a drummer. In addition to his 2022 Grammy win for Best Traditional Blues Album (“I Be Trying”), Burnside was nominated for Grammys in 2016 and 2019.

Supporting Burnside will be Huntsville-based group the WANDA Band, which features acclaimed singer-songwriter Wanda Wesolowski, who headlined the Panoply Arts Festival and performed at Bonnaroo earlier this year. Both WANDA Band and Cedric Burnside are signed to the same record label, Single Lock Records, based in Muscle Shoals and New Orleans.

About the Music Cities Convention

Hosted by Sound Diplomacy, the Huntsville Music Office and Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Music Cities Convention will explore the importance of music in the development of cities all around the world. For attendees, it will feature numerous networking opportunities at a variety of venues, including the Von Braun Center, Orion Amphitheater and U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

The convention will also include a robust daytime schedule full of noteworthy speakers, panel discussions, presentations and roundtables that showcase the latest and best practices around the importance of music and how it’s successfully being utilized within the development of cities across the world. Discussion topics will include:

  • Global music city policies
  • Music and economic development
  • Music and technology
  • Music education
  • Music’s future role in cities
  • Nighttime economy
  • Supporting musicians
  • City and place branding
  • Music tourism
  • Music’s impact on real estate
  • Music for community building and more.

Click here to learn more information about the Music Cities Convention and here to purchase tickets.