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Music Culture: Magic City Classic Live Music Scene 2015

By Ashley Sankey 



The Magic City Classic has always had a tendency to bring the love of the Black community together. Seventy-Four years later, this event continues to bring families together who continue to keep “Our Pride” strong! From black entrepreneurship, to social parties, concerts, to the rival between Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University, it’s always a success! It continues to bring in millions of dollars to the Magic City of Birmingham Alabama. Year after year celebrities, politicians, every day entrepreneurs, High school bands, Middle school bands, College bands, Live bands, singers and sponsors join together to create the experience we enjoy, and look forward to which is nationally known as the Magic City Classic!!!

When you think about Birmingham, you think about Magic!!!! It’s The Magic City… the stars and entertainment moguls always show us just how “Magical” the city is! Wanna know who came? Wanna know who performed? Let’s list them; Rickey Smiley, Ruben Studdard, Clinton Babers, Anthony Anderson, Juicy J, Kid Capri, Lavell Crowford, Tom Joyner, Dru Hill, Yung Joc, SWV, Jodeci, Doug E Fresh, Alvin Garrett, Just A Few Cats, Jagged Edge, Carl Thomas, and Whodini, just to name a few. You Know I won’t go any further without naming “Our Independent” Artist who rocked The Show during Classic Week!!! Being an independent artist myself, I have a deep respect for those pumping out Great Music!! Sharron, Dani, Kenya Latrice, Love Moor, Eugenius Neutron, No Suh Foster, John Vokalz, Dominique Posey, Toya Foya Soul, Precision Groove, Gabriel Tajeu, Latrisha Redmon, Baron Amato, Shaun Judah, and C1ub A.M. If I’m missing anyone else who performed, I promise I’ll mention you in future articles! It was a privilege to catch some of the talent last week, there’s no other place I would have wanted to be! 

This year I was able to take part in three aspects of the Magic City Classic! I was featured as one of the headliners at one of many classic concerts held last week. The 19th Street Live/ Bar Crawl, Sponsored by the Magic City Agriculture Project. The concert took place in the Historic Downtown District Of Ensley, Alabama. Ensley has been known for decades for producing famous athletes, musicians, female and male vocalist! It was an honor to be included to perform in an area with great heritage, an area where I grew up! Now, being in Ensley, performing with the likes of Baron Amato (New Orleans), and Gabriel Tajeu (Birmingham,Al) was how can I say, challenging. Simply because these two artists are “KIllING” the underground scene, better yet, when the main stream gets em, a lot of these artist out today will get knocked outta rank!


I’m not saying it just because I know them, I’m saying it because when you’re in the presence of Greatness, and you “Feel” their vibes, you “Get It”, you understand, You know that “We Gon Be Alright” Kendrick Lamar-.Performing showed me that it will take “Us” to get the city to the next level!! We are the magic, we are the Torch carriers! Ensley has had a history of success, as well as decades of turmoil. Music and Arts have always rescued and saved the town of history, continuously, and we saw another burst of it last week! Thanks to the Magic of the Classic!

Now, let’s talk about two special events that took place last week!! One of my favorite events during Classic week every year is Fly Dave (Johnson) and his “Alabama State Vs Alabama A&M jam session!” Every year, the crowd comes out to have a great time in a great atmosphere with “Awesome” music!!!!! It gets bigger and better every year, and will continue too!! Dave himself is a graduate of the incomparable Alabama State University!!!!! Go Hornets!!!!! The 2nd event I would love to mention is none other than “We’ve Got The Soul” Kick Off which took place last week!! Birmingham’s very own Latrisha Redmon is the founder of this series!! It doesn’t stop at Classic Week though!!! This great collective will take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month!!! Also Fly Dave has one of the best Jam Sessions on Wednesday nights!!! Contact Plum Bar for more information!!! To see “We’ve Got The Soul” experience, contact Levels!!!!

Photo Cred: Jessica Latten- Latrisha FeFe Redmon

Photo Cred: Jessica Latten- Latrisha FeFe Redmon

I asked Latrisha (FeFe Redmon) this question-

LCP: How was the energy at Levels last Thursday night? Check out her response! 

Latrisha: We've Got Soul was a night of high energy with the band, Amp Noiz. They brought the noise from beginning to end. Accompanying each artist, they set the tone for a wonderful night of music and fun to add to the Classic experience. Each artist brought their unique style to the mic. From originals to covers, they each held their own. The open mic portion opened us up to more untapped talent that the city has to offer.. Classic was the pathway to creating a greater stage for greater talent.


Photo Cred: D. Jerome Smedley- Alvin Garrett

Photo Cred: D. Jerome Smedley- Alvin Garrett

 I had the opportunity to ask Grammy Nominated Singer/Songwriter Alvin Garrett One Question-

LCP: “How Did It Make You Feel to be honored and perform In Your Hometown during Classic”. Check Out His Response:

Alvin Garrett: "The best way to describe how I feel after the Magic City Classic is HUMBLED. There are so many companies to thank for various opportunities to perform and promote my music and band throughout the classic: Summit Media, 98.7 KISS FM, Coca-Cola, Alagasco, Miller Coors and Coors Lite, WAGG Heaven 610, and The City of Birmingham. Mostly, I'd like to say thank you to the thousands of people that showed me how truly impactful my song has been in their life. I can't describe how humbled I am to see the reaction to the song and hear so many people singing the words to "By Myself." It truly makes all the hard work this journey requires worth it."

LCP: I commend you all on a Job Well Done!!!!

After those unforgettable events, to end the week, I attended the Magic City Classic Parade, followed by an enjoyable day with my family during the game at Legion Field. Tailgating with thousands of people who also enjoyed themselves was a treat too!! Guess what though??? Those events would not have been special without the marching bands, the live bands, the singers, the hip hop artist, the comedy shows and the dj’s!! Music creates a sense of joy, and while the football game was great, it wouldn’t have been anything without music and comedy! I am just honored to be in the number!! There’s nothing like “The Magic City Classic”!!!!!!!! There’s nothing like the Magic City!!!!! Period!!!!!

 P.S. THE FOOD WAS GREAT ALSO!!!!!  November 2015.

Ashley Sankey

Music Contributor






Did you enjoy this wonderful recap of the Magic City Classic weekend???? #AshleySankey did a phenominal job on this write up! If you missed out this year, I know you won't be missing out next year!! 

BTW- Don't forget to like/follow us on social meadia, and DON"T forget to sign up for our weekly news letter! ;) 

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