VersoFest: Sunday’s Soul Extravaganza

VersoFest — the Westport Library’s first-ever (and first-library-in-the-country) music and media festival — is shaping up to be a major event.

Joshie Jo Armistead

Take just one example: Sunday.

It’s a blues-and-soul extravaganza. From 2 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday Night Live tour de force Christine Ohlman interviews Joshie Jo Armstead.

Armistead — a soul Renaissance woman got her start as an Ikette (with Ike & Tina Turner). She wrote hit songs for Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, and collaborated with filmmaker/playwright Melvin Van Peebles. And that’s just a start.

Armstead and Ohlman will present a live version of Verso Studios’ Connecticut Music Oral History podcast, with music, images and video on the Library’s new sound system and spectacular digital screen. The event is free with registration.

After a short break — perhaps a bite to eat downtown? — VersoFest ends with a bang. Selwyn Birchwood takes the Forum stage at 7 p.m.

Selwyn Birchwood (Photo/Jim Hartzell)

Rolling Stone calls him “a remarkable, contemporary bluesman … a powerhouse young guitarist and soulful vocalist … a major player.” The Alligator Records artist has been nominated as Blues Male Artist of the Year.

The opening act — funk favorites Drop Party — veer from jazz and funk to Latin, always conjuring up a dancing spirit.

Tickets for Selwyn Birchwood and Drop Party are $30 — but enter the promo code “Woog,” and get them for just $15 each!

Click here for tickets, registration, schedules and more information on all 3 days of VersoFest. Beer and wine will be available at the concert.

(Want to hear more of Selwyn Birchwood. Check out WPKN-FM 89.5 tomorrow — Wednesday, April 6, 11 a.m. — for his interview with music director Rob Silber. NOTE: VersoFest is co-produced by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.)

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