The Marqee of Soul, 16 Bars VP Tony Jones, Handy House Museum Director Elaine Turner, Digital Marketing Mgr. Montel Jones announcing the company opening to celebrate African American Music Month at the Handy House Museum. (Photo: Rudy Hall)

June is “African-American Music Appreciation Month” and Memphis is the epicenter of southern festivities.

“From Memphis to the World” will stage a series of celebrations, hosted by 16 Bars Entertainment, LLC, a music, film and television production company.

The June 1 kickoff at the iconic Handy Memphis Home and Museum promoted a month-long schedule of events and the introduction of two new artists on  the Memphis music scene: recording artist Chi-Kairo (“Cairo”) and R&B crooner The Marqee of Soul. The company also announced the upcoming release of a Memphis-based film documentary on the 1991 People’s Convention.

“It is such a pleasure to partner with 16 Bars Entertainment in this grand celebration of African-American Music Appreciation Month,” said Turner, executive director of the Handy Museum. “Memphis is rich in its history and development of all kinds of music. What more fitting city than Memphis to present these wonderful events?

On Friday, June 4, a debut performance by the Marqee of Soul is scheduled from 6-8 p.m., at the Handy House.

Saturday, June 12, Ekpe Abioto’s Black on Black Love Book Fair, also at the Handy House, will feature music, food trucks, and conversations with authors of the modern “Black Love” book genre. Abioto is better known for the popular African drum troupe.

The event is set from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Well known local authors will headline the event: Dr. Larry Moore, “Images of Beale Street”; Gemi Treadwell, “Beale Street Poetry,” and independent book publisher George Grant, who will present a preview of his new book, “Beale Street Unforgotten,” which will be released on June 17.

Also featured will be the gospel-jazz saxophonist, Cookie Drake.

On Saturday, June 19, 16 Bars will support the city’s Juneteenth Celebration, at  Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.

June 25 is the culminating From Memphis to the World New Music Showcase.

“Our showcase location will be announced later on in the month,” said Tony Jones, publicist and 16 Bars Entertainment vice-president. “We are also planning a final press conference and luncheon with Chi-Kairo. On Facebook, there will be a live tour of the city’s historic music venues, and a livestream Label Release Party website launch will wrap up festivities. Those event locations will be announced later on in the month.”

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information, call Handy House at 901-527-3427.

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