(U.S) The Consortium MMT (Memphis Music Town) will honor musical icon Stevie Wonder with the inaugural Epitome of Soul Award at “A Soulright Evening” presented by Southeastern Asset Management advisors to Longleaf Partners Funds musical tribute on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. at the Cannon Center in Memphis, TN. The evening will include a performance by Wonder and additional performances by artists paying homage to Wonder’s vast repertoire of hits. Rickey Minor, music director for American Idol, will serve as producer and music director. Minor, a four time Emmy nominee, previously spent nearly four years jamming alongside Jay Leno as the leader of the famed Tonight Show Band. Along the way, he’s worked with a veritable “who’s who” of popular music across genres and generations including Whitney Houston, Sting, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Pharrell, Garth Brooks, Usher, Jamie Foxx, and Ray Charles. Tickets will be made available through Ticketmaster.
“The City of Memphis is truly excited that The Consortium MMT, and its mentorship program for Soul Music, would honor the legendary Stevie Wonder with its Epitome of Soul Award. No city could be more proud of its legacy of Soul Music than Soulsville, USA, and there could be no greater representation of the music than The Consortium MMT’s first honoree. The City of Memphis invites everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and attend this great show,” says Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr.
“The legacy of Soul Music and Memphis deserves the best. Having Stevie Wonder as the honoree is a true testament to that,” said The Consortium MMT founder David Porter. “Memphis is rich in musical history and provides the perfect backdrop for a celebration honoring one of soul’s greatest artists, the ‘Epitome of Soul’.”
Memphis native Porter is a multi-Grammy award winner and 2005 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee. His catalog sales exceed 300 million units and his songwriting credits include Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover,” Will Smith’s “Get Jiggy Wit’ It,” Biggie Smalls’ “Who Shot Ya?” and numerous other hits. Porter has over 1700 songwriter/composer credits for a range of artist including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Celine Dion, Otis Redding, Drake, Eminem, Tom Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Wu-Tang Clan and many more.
In 2012, he founded The Consortium MMT, a 501(c)(3), as a vehicle by which music industry professionals can assist Memphis, Tennessee and the surrounding communities with the cultivation of a music education program rooted in the rich musical history that the city has. At a time when public education systems have eliminated and substantially downsized fine arts curricula, The Consortium MMT picks up and improves upon the education.
The Consortium MMT has created a valuable program that provides talented and dedicated young students with direct knowledge, proven techniques and insight from internationally successful music industry veterans, all at no cost to the student. The student must demonstrate uncanny dedication and passion for their craft. More than a school, The Consortium MMT provides real-world experience and mentorship, creating a direct path to success for talented recording artists/entertainers, songwriters and producers.
Memphis is the home to a musical legacy that includes Hi Records, Stax Records and Sun Studios, and provided the launching point for many musical greats, including Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Roy Orbison, B.B. King and many more. The Consortium MMT is fostering a new pool of young musicians and artists from the legacy of the great musical pioneers of the past and presenting them to the world as trailblazers of the future.
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