Good Times Productions and the Fox Theatre are excited to present an all-star lineup of musicians for Hampton 70: A Celebration of Col. Bruce Hampton TONIGHT, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. Members of Widespread Panic, Phish, R.E.M., and more will gather to celebrate the legendary avant-garde musician’s 70thbirthday, with proceeds benefitting the Fox Theatre Institute, as well as other music-minded charities.
Atlanta Music Guide got to chat with Matt Wilson from Good Time Productions to talk about what it means to put on a show like this.
Hosting a show dedicated to the lifetime achievements of an entertainer is obviously special. What goes in to planning and showcasing an event of this magnitude that sets it apart from other events?
The obvious answer is the number of guest artists on the bill and the overall collaborative nature of the show. At present, we are expecting 33 musicians, most of whom rarely perform together despite the common overlap in styles and fanbase. Many of the Hampton 7O artists are old friends and have performed together at various times over the years, but having all of these fine folks on the same stage, on the same night, is a very special and rare thing. We feel quite blessed. The planning was easy given the level of interest that we received from the invited artists.
What is it about Col. Bruce and his music that makes a collaboration like this come together?
Bruce is the common denominator to the overlap that I mention above – or one of them, anyway. I think if you asked any of the artists performing H70 why they agreed to play this show, the answer would likely center around a love and respect for Col. Bruce. It’s hard to explain to the non-musician just why so many musicians have been drawn to him over the years. It’s intangible and far from intuitive – but that is the very essence of Bruce. He has a unique ability to summon things from of the mind and soul that you never knew existed. And that’s just the beginning. The ultimate testament to it all of this, in my opinion, is the fact that Bruce has so may dedicated disciples – among whom are some of the most accomplished and well-known musicians on the planet.
How will this event be similar/different from the Gregg Allman: All My Friends tribute that took place a few years ago?
Similar in that it will involve not-so-obvious artist collaborations and a stellar cast, but different in that we will feature the music of Col. Bruce Hampton – spanning 5 decades. This is not for the faint of heart! And I mean that in the best way possible.
What do you hope the audience takes away from an event like this?
A greater appreciation for Col. Bruce and the inspiring impact that he has on the musical lives of so many musicians and the scene, in general. He a musician’s musician in the truest sense of the term.