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The Black Music Matters Festival continues on Sunday, Aug. 30 with special Encore Festival performances from Kamara Thomas and Barrence Whitfield at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. eastern respectively.

After joining in the outrage and heartbreak of people across the United States in the wake of George Floyd's killing and broader racial injustices, we needed to do something. As is too common across art forms, Black country and Americana artists are sorely underrepresented in festivals and media coverage. This is an opportunity to highlight the many outstanding Black acts and artists in the genres.

These artists have music with a message appropriate for these times. Let their voices be heard.

The concerts will be broadcast on the Country Standard Time Facebook page.

Festival goers can donate to the Equal Justice Initiative, the Bryan Stevenson social justice group featured in the book and movie "Just Mercy." EJI is based in Montgomery, Ala. and "is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society."


Festival Encore Concert - Sunday, Aug 30, 8 p.m. EST
Kamara Thomas

Kamara Thomas is a singer, songspeller, mythology fanatic and multi-disciplinary storyteller based in Durham, N.C. She will release her new album "Tularosa: An American Dreamtime" in 2020. Kamara was named one of the "14 Artists Proving Black Americana is Real" by Paste Magazine and she is currently spearheading "Country Soul Songbook," a musical performance and documentary project exploring race and place in Country and Americana music.


Festival Encore Concert - Sunday, Aug. 30, 9 p.m. EST
Barrence Whitfield

Barrence Whitfield, a.k.a. Barry White, 67, is a native of Jacksonville, Fla., who grew up in Newark and East Orange, N.J. He move to Boston to attend Boston University in 1977. Barrence joined Peter Greenberg to put together Barrence Whitfield and the Savages in 1983. The band recorded seven albums between 1983-1995. Barrence reformed the band in 2010 and recorded five more albums until 2017. In 1993, Barrence recorded with the great Americana singer Tom Russell "Hillbilly Voodoo" and in 1994, "Cowboy Mambo." Barrence also recorded "Dig Thy Savage Soul and "Under the Savage Sky" on Bloodshot Records.

The Festival began Aug. 2-6. Participants were:

  • Ben Hunter
  • Hubby Jenkins
  • Miko Marks
  • Rissi Palmer
  • Brittney Spencer
  • Aaron Vance


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