Blues Legend and Playing For Change Advocate Vasti Jackson Receives 2017 Grammy Nomination

Playing For Change artist and advocate Vasti Jackson has been nominated by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (The Recording Academy) for "The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers" in the 2017 Traditional Blues Category. As part of the achievement, Jackson will appear in a special performance at the Grammy Museum Mississippi Night on Thursday, February 9.

Jackson's sixth album, "The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers, " is a body of work celebrating the powerful influence the blues had on Rodgers, the recognized father of country music, in an acoustic setting of voice and guitar. The disc reveals how country got the blues. Recorded in his home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Jackson served as the sole arranger, performer, recording engineer and producer. "I recorded 'The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers' alone at my home one man, one voice and one guitar, " Jackson said. "This nomination means that someone heard the depth of truth, commitment and belief that great music, and sincere performance, is always current and vital."

The recognition in 2017 is a particularly timely tribute as Jimmie Rodgers will be recipient of the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award (post mortem). "The soul of Jimmie Rodgers' music was the blues, and the blues is the garden from which all American music grows, " Jackson said. "Take that from a Mississippi country boy who grew into a Mississippi blues man, that there ain't no border to the blues!"

Past Grammy-related work for Jackson includes featured performer at the Grammy Museum Mississippi Grand Opening, recording on Cassandra Wilson's "Belly of the Sun, " nominated for Best Jazz Vocal, co-producer of the Bobby Rush "Hoochie Man" nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Recording and performing on B.B. King's Grammy Award-winning Blues Summit.

Jackson's support of the Playing For Change movement includes participation on the Peace Through Music World Tour, recording and filming for the PFC3 Songs Around the World album and video as well as a performance at the United Nations. "Vasti Jackson is one of the greatest musicians, blues historians and people I have ever met, " said Playing For Change Co-Founder Mark Johnson.

"I'm so blessed to be part of the Playing For Change Foundation and their music education programs, " Jackson said. "Music education is dear to my heart and PFC is making a change throughout the world with its programs. From South Africa to Argentina to Brazil to Mali and beyond, music education is so important, and crucial to life itself. Music is a powerful tool to learn about so many subjects beyond music. From infants to the elderly music facilitates vitality, joy, openness and renewal of the spirit."

Through its global network of music schools, the Playing For Change movement promotes its mission with scores of artists such as Jackson in the revitalization of communities and inspiring people through music. "We are proud and full of joy witnessing another Playing For Change supporter on the receiving end of a well-deserved Grammy nomination, " said Playing For Change Foundation Executive Director John McKenna. "Vasti is an uplifting soul and the world is a better place with his voice in it."

"I support the Playing For Change cause in every way I am able, " Jackson concluded.

About Playing For Change Foundation

Playing For Change Foundation was established in 2007, providing music education in areas that are culturally rich yet economically challenged. Children in countries around the world, from Africa, Latin America to Southeast Asia, attend free classes in music, dance and languages, taught by qualified local music teachers and led by regional administrators. Students learn about their own cultural traditions while employing technology to connect and share experiences with others around the world.

Playing For Change, led by Co-Founders Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, arose from the universal belief that music can connect people across circumstances, challenges and cultural differences. In 2002, a small group of filmmakers set out with a mobile recording studio in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the human race on the streets. The first music video production, "Stand By Me, " combined 35 musicians from 10 countries who had never met in person. The phenomenon swept across the world, with "Stand By Me, " one of the Playing For Change productions, being viewed over 100 million times online and counting.

The Playing For Change movement has since attracted hundreds of global artists including Sara Bareilles, Jimmy Buffett, Bono, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Ziggy Marley, Keb Mo and Keith Richards, in addition to street musicians from 47 countries who have participated in PFC video recordings.

About Vasti Jackson

Vasti (pronounced Vast-Eye) Jackson is a world-renowned songwriter, arranger, producer, guitarist and vocalist. Jackson's 40-plus-year career is known for sweat-drenched, soul-ripping live performances marked by some of the most innovative guitar playing today. From early days playing the churches and juke joints of McComb, Mississippi, to festivals, concerts and theaters around the world, Jackson has moved effortlessly from blues to soul, jazz, funk, gospel, pop and beyond. Jackson's honors include recipient of the 2015 Albert King Lifetime Guitar Award and inductee in the Class of 2012 Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Jackson has been featured in Guitar Player Magazine, Living Blues, Back To The Roots, Nothing But The Blues, Juke Blues (England), Blues Revue and many other publications. He has performed on Dan Aykroyd's House of Blues Radio Hour, Starz Encore Network, WGN-TV Chicago and PBS. Jackson has performed, written, produced and recorded music for HBO, VH1, Mississippi Educational Television, BBC and radio and television programs in Australia, Uruguay, Finland and Canada.

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