As events begin to pick up again, downtown Cowtown will be booming with the sounds of New Orleans. The Roots of Music series, at Downtown Cowtown the Isis at the Fort Worth Stockyards, has an upcoming program highlighting Black music, packed with jazz, blues, R&B and hip-hop.
Originally scheduled for a two-night premiere on May 7 and 8, the show has been pushed back to June. It will be one of the premiere live music performances debuting at the theater, which airs Western movies in the day and transforms into a live event stage at night.
Adonis Rose, a Grammy-winning jazz drummer and co-founder of a division of the Funky Town Music Festival called FunkyTown Agency, is hosting and performing at The Roots of Music series. If you can’t make it to the debut shows, you're in luck; there’ll be a total of 12 shows, one each month.
Rose is a New Orleans native, but he’s no stranger to North Texas. He previously lived in Fort Worth for a decade and wanted to bring a venue to the area that would draw in Black music. The genres and different performances are meant to intersect the music styles and show how they influence each other.
The idea to bring the music series — borrowed from what Rose was already showcasing in New Orleans — into its latest space at the Isis Theater came about through a discussion Rose had with Jeffery Smith, the theater's owner.
"We had some conversations about his space and he was like, 'Man, I want you to come to Fort Worth and do the same thing at my venue,'" Rose says. "After having further conversations with him, I was like, 'Look, we need to focus on trying to bring more Black artists into the Fort Worth community and bringing more African Americans out to be able to perform in our centers to be able to see this.'
"So for the 10 years when I was in Fort Worth, I was trying to cultivate an audience for this art."
Rose believes there isn’t enough representation of the music he’ll be highlighting in the Roots of Music series, but wants to remedy that by trying to bring in influential artists such as Sheila E., Ledisi, Bo Dolis Jr. and others.
“Jazz just has a way of bringing a lot of different types of people together to be able to see the music,” Rose says. “So I want to be able to do the same thing in Fort Worth. There have not been many challenges getting the artists out to come and perform.”
Audiences who attend the music series can expect high-quality sound, a cultural experience and a musical taste of New Orleans (particularly during the two-day opening performances) through the showcasing of new and established artists.
The Roots of Music jazz series will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5, at Downtown Cowtown at the Isis, 2401 N. Main St., Fort Worth. Tickets are now available.
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