WHO: On Saturday, The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development presented the Six Degrees to Tennessee Roots Jam to kick-off Tennessee Music Pathways, a statewide program designed to guide visitors to musical points of interest through an online travel-planning experience featuring hundreds of landmarks and attractions.
WHAT: The event, driven by official rideshare partner Lyft, took place at the New Daisy Theatre on Beale Street, a stop on the Pathways, on September 15th and featured performances by GRAMMY-Award winning group The Roots with special guests Elle King, Dustin Lynch, Estelle, The Isley Brothers, and JJ Julius Son from Kaleo. The evening kicked off with one of The Roots’ famous jam sessions followed by each artist taking the stage to perform an original hit along with a song that highlighted their musical connection back to Tennessee.
Elle King was the first to take the stage to perform her new hit single “Shame” as well as the classic “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” by Memphis-born “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. JJ Julius Son from Kaleo performed the group’s No. 1 song “Way Down We Go” before taking on Elvis’ debut single “That’s Alright.” British songstress Estelle sang her GRAMMY-winning hit “American Boy” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s platinum hit “Sing a Song.” Tennessee native Dustin Lynch followed with his summer smash “Good Girl” and Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.” Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers The Isley Brothers rounded out the night and electrified the crowd with their funk anthem “It’s Your Thing” and Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay.”
Memphis-born rapper Project Pat and singer, songwriter, and producer Booker T. Jones also surprised the crowd with hit performances throughout the night.
Tickets to the event were free and exclusively available on www.TNRootsJam.com. They sold out immediately, but on Saturday Lyft launched a special in-app mode called ‘Roots Jam Mode’ where lucky Lyft passengers were able to claim the last few tickets and get taken directly to the show for free via the Lyft app. Fans who didn’t receive tickets were treated to a Beale Street viewing party, powered by Budweiser, which was hosted by Memphis rapper Al Kapone. The popular Beale Street Flippers were also on hand to entertain the crowd by showing off their famed acrobatic moves leading into the show.
As an ongoing partner of Tennessee Tourism, Lyft is collaborating to offer enhanced rideshare experiences and discounts at select Tennessee Music Pathways starting this year.
The Six Degrees platform, in partnership with Rolling Stone, also went live yesterday. The portal allows music fans to enter any musician’s name to see their connection back to the state of Tennessee in six degrees or less.
Tennessee Music Pathways and Six Degrees to Tennessee Roots Jam support the state’s dedication to music and tourism initiatives as part of their ongoing “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” campaign. For more information, visit www.TennesseeMusicPathways.com and follow the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on Twitter and Instagram @TNVacation.
About Tennessee Music Pathways:
Tennessee Music Pathways is a state-wide driving tour program identifying, interpreting, promoting and preserving a broad perspective of great and well-known, as well as the important but possibly unknown, Tennessee music events, locations and stories. Working with the state historian and through internal research at the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, more than 500 possible locations for markers, including birthplaces, resting places, hometowns, high schools and churches, locations of first-known recordings or performances of the musical pioneers and legends have been identified to date.
About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development:
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is to motivate travel to and within Tennessee by inspiring enjoyment, creating memories, producing a desire to return and establishing key long-term relationships that result in visitors becoming residents. In 2017, Tennessee’s tourism industry generated $20.7 billion annually in economic impact, more than $1.8 billion in state and local sales tax revenue and more than 184,300 tourism-related jobs. The promise of Tennessee—the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll—is to be the global music destination of choice. To deliver an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”
About The Roots:
The legendary Roots Crew have become one of the best known and most respected hip-hop acts in the business, winning four GRAMMYS, including “Best R&B Album” for Wake Up!, “Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance” for “Hang in There” (with John Legend) and “Best Group or Duo R&B Vocal Performance” for “Shine.” This brings the band’s GRAMMY nomination count to 12. Additionally, “The Roots Picnic,” a yearly star-studded mix of musicians, has become a celebrated institution. The Roots were named “one of the greatest live bands around” by Rolling Stone and serve as the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Most recently, The Roots announced they are developing an animated children’s series, along with a live action children’s series, in partnership with Amazon.
Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. and is available to 95 percent of the US population as well as in Ontario, Canada. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities.
About Memphis Tourism:
Founded in 1925, Memphis Tourism, a 501(c)(6) membership organization, serves as the official destination marketing and tourism organization for Memphis and Shelby County. The Memphis Tourism sales staff covers the convention, sports and tourism sales market segments and is supported by a marketing department that includes advertising, digital marketing, research, public relations and membership. For more information about Memphis Tourism, visit www.memphistravel.com.