Vasti Jackson & Friends christen the Institute For Southern Storytelling at Mississippi College

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It takes a special person to help assemble a group of master musicians at the same time and place. The challenge is daunting even when the planned concert is in the “Birthplace of America’s Music” – Mississippi. 

Sponsored by The Institute For Southern Storytelling, the “Vasti Jackson & Friends Live in Mississippi” event accomplished this task on Aug. 31. This event was a free concert, and was held in the Entergy Theater at the Gore Arts Complex of Mississippi College. It was a joyous night of musical entertainment interspersed with humorous storytelling through a Southern lens by Vasti Jackson, a native Mississippian.

The Institute was co-founded by Robert St. John and Anthony Thaxton. Along with its executive director Amy Bryant Thaxton, the Institute works to help tell Southern stories worldwide. 

Vasti Jackson is a multi-Grammy nominated, world-renowned guitarist, vocalist, composer, and producer. His passionate for providing music education is being used to help develop 15 music schools in 12 countries that serve more than 2,000 students. 

During the event, Vasti Jackson was joined by fellow master musicians: Tom “Bones” Malone (trombonist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer, and musical director); Jerry “The Groovemaster” Jemmott (two-time Grammy Award-winning bassist); Donald Harrison (virtuoso saxophonist and the recipient of the 2022 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Award); Frank Greene (lead trumpet for many orchestras); Derrick “D’MAR” Martin (a drummer from Jackson, MS and a producer, composer, recording artist, and educator); Keith Johnson “Prince of the Delta Blues” (the great nephew of legendary Mississippi blues icon Muddy Waters and a composer and novelist); and Keiko Komaki (internationally recognized pianist from Japan).

For additional information on the Institute, visit:

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Vasti Jackson & Friends christen the Institute For Southern Storytelling at Mississippi College

By Brinda Fuller Willis
September 11, 2023