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Highlights- May 24-31

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The show not to miss: Chase Missy and Fayetteville Funk  Ensemble at George’s and Celebrating Arkansas Heritage

Celebrating Arkansas Heritage

LifeWriters of Northwest Arkansas will celebrate Arkansas Heritage
Month by presenting an afternoon of readings at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Shiloh Museum in Springdale.

The free program will be entertainment for all ages and there will be a discussion about memoir writing and an opportunity to talk with the writers.

“Saving And Sharing Our Life Stories: It’s Everybody’s Business” reflects both the Department of Arkansas Heritage Month’s theme and the writers’ feelings that everyone has stories worth preserving. Writers who will be reading are both Arkansas natives and newcomers to the state.

“We have discovered universal themes among our diverse backgrounds,” group facilitator June Jefferson said. “We each have unique sets of circumstances which have brought us to this particular place, at this particular time, but we share similar perspectives such as methods of survival in times of need, feelings of love or loss, a sense of the ridiculous, as well as a legacy we would like to leave. These stories are the history, which defines us and may give direction to those in the future.”

Chase Missy and Fayetteville Funk Ensemble
Our pick of the week for live music this week is the free Gulley Park concert tonight with the fabulous local group, Big ‘Uns, while on the club scene we’re going with the Chase Missy and Fayetteville Funk Ensemble shows Friday at George’s.
The Fayetteville Funk Ensemble took home this year’s NAMA for best jazz band- although funky they are, The group is: Charles Whiley, sax and wind synth (Grandpa’s Goodtime Fandango); Jeff Gray, trumpet (“Eckobase”); Matt Brooks, bass (“The After Party All Stars); jazz guitarist Drew Packard; and drummer and UA music grad Marcus Bowles—and they put out some killer music.

Chase Missy who showcased at NAMA 2006 started out doing coffeehouse gigs in The Big Apple in 2002. The band is the husband and wife duo of Chase Gipson, vocals, guitar, mandolin, accordion, harmonica; Missy Gipson, vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica; Gary Kilpatrick, drums; Patrick Yerby, bass. For the George’s show they’ll be joined by special guest Tommy George. Chase Missy have been compared to Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Sonny and Cher, and The Indigo Girls.

Chase, an Oklahoma native, played minor league soccer for the Tulsa Roughnecks, Mobile Revelers and Arkansas A’s before he hooked up with Missy and moved to New York. Missy, an Army brat, was born in Russellville, but moved away as a youngster. Her first audition after moving to New York, landed her the role of Mary Shelley in “Frankenstein: The Rock Musical” which was performed at La MaMa ETC, the SoHo theatre where Hair was first staged. She did an indie film, Dragon’s Teeth, various other stage plays and toured with Allian Productions doing children’s shows. She also continued her studies working with voice coach Steve Sweetland (Kathie Gifford’s voice teacher) and Sandie Shurin, the acting coach on America’s Next Top Model.

Chase taught middle school in Brooklyn and worked for Children’s Athletic Training Program in Manhattan. He was also playing around town and eventually convinced Missy to start singing with him.

If you go to the Chase Missy website you’ll see a quote about Chase Missy from music impresario Sid Bernstein, best know for the man who brought the Beatles to America.

Chase and Missy met Bernstein when they played “Sun Music Company” on New York’s Upper East Side, which is in the same building where Bernstein lived.

“He was really a soft spoken, calm man that was extremely gentle and kind. We knew we were meeting an icon. He told stories about having Paul McCartney over for dinner….very cool,” Missy said.

Chase Missy recorded their first album Invincible in New York. They then moved to Atlanta to focus on their music and spent the next two years touring. During this time Chase won an honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for his song “Life’s Circle.”

After moving to Fayetteville they added the band, which brought an alt-country edge to their music. They released their second album, Folks Throwing Rocks In The Country in 2005. Missy said they have a enough material for a new album and hope to start recording this summer.

In addition to their music, Missy teaches voice lessons and is a drama teacher and director for Arts Live Theater and Fort Smith’s Young Actor’s Guild. Chase works for the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department where he runs the youth soccer program and oversees the Gulley Park Concert Series and Wilson Park pool.

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