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News from the Academy

Queen Of The Blues Headed For The Academy Of Fine Arts

LYNCHBURG - (March 6, 2013) She's the winner of over 30 International Blues Awards and was a 2013 Grammy Nominee. She's been repeatedly honored by the readers and critics at Living Blues Magazine as MOST OUTSTANDING BLUES SINGER OF THE YEAR (2012) and FEMALE BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR (four times.)

Just recently the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois officially crowned her as "QUEEN OF THE BLUES," and she took part in an all-Blues command performance at the White House at the specific invitation of the President of the United States.

But most importantly - she's coming to Lynchburg! Don't miss the woman hailed as "the most acclaimed blues woman of the last thirty years," as SHEMEKIA COPELAND hits the Academy of Fine Arts stage on Friday March 15th at 8PM.

In a special effort to find the area's most serious Blues fans, Academy Executive Director David Jenkins reached out to Lynchburg's home of the Blues, The Ellington, for promotional support. "The future of the Ellington is very important to that of the Academy of Music Theatre, because the more intimate and unique venues there are for live blues and jazz in this area, the more of that kind of music our bigger 850 seat theatre will be able to bring in. As we hope to draw fans from fifty miles away, they'll also discover and become loyal patrons of the Ellington. It's a win-win situation."

This collaboration is of equal value to The Ellington.

"We're pleased the Academy sees our venue as a premier source for great music in Central Virginia, and values our patrons enough to offer this invitation to partner for the Shemekia Copeland show," said Noreen Turyn, President of the Ellington's Board of Directors. "We're still going strong after 29 years and we believe this joint venture with such a talented artist can only mean positive things for the future of both The Ellington and the Academy."

Jenkins has first-hand knowledge of Shemekia Copeland's effect on audiences. "I was lucky enough to present Shemekia outside of Charlotte a couple of years ago and watched this sweetheart of a woman turn into a ball of fire onstage. She just ripped the roof off the theatre and charmed everyone there into falling for her. There's no one on the music scene today quite like her."

The Chicago Sun Times reviewed Ms. Copeland's red hot new CD "33 1/3" by saying, "She seems to have been bequeathed Koko Taylor's title as Queen, and she deserves it... Successfully blending old world soul with new world sass... A moody, smoky set worthy of some kind of crown!"

Shemekia Copeland performs at 8:00 p.m. on Friday March 15 in the Academy of Fine Arts' warehouse theatre. Tickets are $34 and are on sale now at or by calling the box office at (434) 846-TIXX.

The Academy of Fine Arts, anchored by the historic Academy of Music Theatre, inspires, engages and educates the diverse population of Central Virginia in the performing and visual arts.

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