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The Save The Music Foundation announced a partnership with The Black Keys to support Mississippi public school music education. Save The Music’s “Mississippi Music Saves” program will fund public school music education programs in seven elementary and middle schools across the state this coming school year, beginning with Junior Kimbrough’s hometown of Holly Springs.

“Mississippi Music Saves” will provide a critical cultural connection for future generations in the Mississippi hill country region — long celebrated for blues, rock and roll and gospel music — and help students reach their full potential through the power of making music. The partnership between Save The Music and The Black Keys follows the release of the band’s new album, Delta Kream, which features eleven Mississippi hill country blues songs by artists including R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough.

The band shares about the program: “We’ve teamed up with Save The Music – a national non-profit dedicated to building school music programs – and a group of local Mississippi partners to contribute instruments and teacher support to schools in the Hill Country. The goal is to grow music programs across the state, starting this coming school year with Holly Springs.”

The first phase of the project will focus on working with educators in at least nine Mississippi counties – Marshall, Coahoma, Bolivar, Washington, Humphreys, Holmes, Sunflower, Leflore and Yazoo – which together educate 40,000 students across 90+ schools. Each school will receive full packages of instruments and equipment for their music classrooms along with programmatic support for music teachers – including professional development, impact measurement, and evaluation services from Save The Music’s program team. Save The Music‘s goal is that by 2030, every K-12 student in Mississippi hill country will have access to sequential, standards-based music taught as part of their school day.

“At Save The Music, we invest in public music education so young people in culturally rich communities have the tools to reach their full potential,” shares Save The Music Executive Director Henry Donahue. “Mississippi music and artists like Junior Kimbrough are in so many ways the foundation of modern American music and culture. When we invest in education, young people, and community partnerships in places like Holly Springs, we can connect more students to that legacy and collectively create a path to a better future for Mississippi students and schools.”

The first “Mississippi Music Saves” schools are: Holly Springs Primary School (Holly Springs), Holly Springs Intermediate School (Holly Springs), OM McNair Middle School (Belzoni), Edna M. Scott Elementary School (Leland), Leland Middle School (Leland), William Dean, Jr. Elementary School (Lexington), and Goodman-Pickens Elementary School (Goodman).

To help support Save The Music’s work in Mississippi, fans all over the country can enter for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience with The Black Keys by making a tax-deductible gift to the organization through an exclusive sweepstakes now live on Propeller. One lucky winner and a friend will get to travel to Oxford, Mississippi this fall to see The Black Keys perform songs from their newest album live at The Lyric; meet Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney at an exclusive soundcheck party; and visit the band’s favorite local spots, including shopping for records at The End of All Music record store; grabbing a bite from Big Bad Breakfast or lunch at Ajax; sipping cocktails at St. Leo; and more. For more details, as well as to view additional sweepstakes items, visit: https://www.propeller.la/theblackkeys. The sweepstakes is live until 11:59 PDT on August 24, 2021.


Check out the Pitchfork article here.