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Blues Symposium XII features Louisiana bluesman and guitarist Kenny Neal

March 15, 2006 -- Louisiana bluesman and guitarist Kenny Neal will be the featured performer at Delta Blues Symposium XII: Delta Diversity, sponsored by the Department of English and Philosophy at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on Thursday, March 30.

Neal will perform in concert at 8 p.m. at The Forum, downtown Jonesboro. The concert is free and open to the public.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., Neal, whose father was also a musician, grew up in a household filled with drums, guitars, and harps. Neal absorbed the music of his father’s friends, which included legendary greats Buddy Guy, Lazy Lester, and Slim Harpo. Their influences as well as regional and local traditions have shaped Neal’s distinctive musical approach.

He has recorded many albums, including Hoodoo Moon, Homesick for the Road, Blues Fallin’ Down Like Rain, and What You Got. He appeared in the Broadway musical Mule Bone, written by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Huston with music by Taj Mahal, and in 1991 received the Theater World Award for the "Most Outstanding New Talent On and Off Broadway."

Neal began to reach an international audience through an African tour sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency. He continues to perform in some 20 countries per year.

The Louisiana roots of Neal’s music remain apparent in his performances and recordings with such musicians as organist Bruce Katz, bassist Rod Carey, and drummer Per Hanson.

Delta Blues Symposium XII: Delta Diversity, is the 2006 installment of an annual three-day conference held at ASU. For more details on Neal’s concert and other symposium events, contact the Department of English and Philosophy at 870-972-3043, email, or visit the website at

-- information provided by the Delta Blues Symposium committee

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