Soul singer Brian Owens will perform “The Soul of Ferguson” at the Berea College convocation on Thursday, March 15 at 8 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. This event is a part of the Stephenson Memorial Concert Series.
Owens performs soulful, jazzy pieces while conjuring up the spirits of such Motown legends as Marvin Gaye and the Temptations. Growing up as a preacher’s kid in Ferguson, Missouri, Owens was no stranger to the beauty of music. His songs encapsulate his shared love of soul music and humanity. Owens uses his music to engage in conversation with his listeners, build community and share a powerful message about his hometown of Ferguson.
Rolling Stone magazine hailed Owens as a “vibrant soul singer,” who “bridges a racial and generational divide.” People are intrigued when they discover that he was inspired by well-known country artist, Johnny Cash, even though Owens’ genre focuses on soul and Rhythm & Blues. His music is able to bridge the gap between genres, while still allowing his personal style to shine through.
The Stephenson Memorial Concert Series was established in 1987 by the late Louis B. Stephenson Jr. and Edna M. Stephenson in memory of their daughter, Nancy Anne, a pianist who died early, and later, their son, John B. Stephenson, president of Berea College, 1984 to 1994. The programs reﬂect the interests of Nancy Anne, with the piano as a solo and ensemble instrument, and of John, in traditional world and ethnic music and dance that foster an understanding of diverse cultural traditions, in contemporary themes.
Convocation events, provided free to both the campus and public communities, are a significant part of a student’s educational experience at Berea College. Visit the Convocations website for the schedule of all convocations this academic year.