spoken word

Afrijam, Johnny Cash, folk music--there's something for everyone!

saturday, oct 12

9:30 am – 10:30 am
Tuscaloosa Sister Cities – MPG Big Band – Schorndorf, Germany

Tuscaloosa's Sister Cities International Program has partnered with the Kentuck Festival to bring the MPG Big Band, a jazz band from Max Planck Gymnasium High School in Schorndorf, Germany to the Kentuck Festival. Schorndorf was Alabama's first German International Sister City.

11:00 am – 12: 00 pm

Birmingham Sunlights

The Birmingham Sunlights, a five-man, four-part harmony a cappella gospel group, was formed in 1978 by Music Director James Alex Taylor and his brothers Steve and Barry.Folklorist Hank Willett says, "The 'Birmingham Sound,' that traditional African American a cappella, vocal harmony which has so influenced American popular music, is among the most remarkable of Alabama's cultural jewels." In addition to appearing at the National Folk Festival and numerous venues across the nation, the Birmingham Sunlights have performed as cultural ambassadors under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State and have toured Canada, Italy, France, five African countries, the Caribbean, and Australia.

12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Toby Foyeh & Orchestra Africa

Orchestra Africa's music dubbed as “AFRIJAM Music” arises from old traditional Africa juxtaposed with modern influences - high technology, advanced communications and international travel in a global market. Afrijam is a unique new music created from a fusion of Nigerian music styles – Highlife, Afrobeat and traditional Yoruba music with Rock, Pop, and Jazz.

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Cash Back

CashBack, based in Birmingham, AL, is arguably the best Johnny Cash tribute band around. Led by Leif Bondarenko, CashBack has been performing their outstanding rendition of Cash classics at venues around the deep South since early 2018. This band brings blazing guitars and swingin’ rhythm, and never fails to deliver a lively, exciting, even heartwarming performance to the audience.

3:45 pm – 5:00 pm

The Kate Lee & Forrest O’Connor Band

Nashville-based folk duo whose music has accumulated more than half a million streams on Spotify. They have performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and Fenway Park, as well as some of the most prominent festivals and performing arts centers around the country.

sunday, oct 13

10:00 am – 11: 00 am

Alabama Blues Project

Students who display a high level of dedication and improvement are asked to participate in the Alabama Blues Project's Advanced Band, where they receive a more intensive learning experience and rehearse a variety of Blues styles as well as write original songs.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Brighter Day

Brighter Day is a 7-piece bluegrass gospel band from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm


Adron is a music-maker based out of Atlanta and LA. Her guitar style is influenced by Brazilian musicians, and her songwrting is influenced by American musicians like Harry Nilsson and Margo Guryan.

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Rob Alley Quintet, Featuring Jil Chambless,

Performing excerpts from The Alabama Songbook

Alabama is a state rich in folksong tradition, and the Alabama Songbook includes Civil War anthems, African-American gospel and secular songs, fiddle tunes, temperance songs, love ballads, and more.

spoken word

saturday & sunday

Alabama Student Association for Poetry (ASAP)
Improbable Fictions
Steve Hobbs
Celebration of Alabama Writers
Steve Hobbs

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© 2020 by Kentuck Art Center.

Kentuck Art Center and Festival was established in 1971. Kentuck's mission is to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist. The Kentuck Festival of the Arts is held annually in October, and during that weekend, makes a $5.5 million economic impact on its community.

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