Springfield Music Lecture Series Presents Four-time Grammy-Winning Recording Artist Jason Isbell

head and shoulder image of Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell, four-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, will discuss his music and career at Rhodes College on Feb. 7 as part of its Springfield Music Lecture Series. Isbell also will discuss his thoughts on what musicians can do to transform the world that surrounds them. Free and open to the public, the event begins at 6 p.m. in McNeill Concert Hall – Rhodes West Campus, located at 613 University Street.

Dr. Charles L. Hughes, music historian and director of The Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes, will be in conversation with Isbell.

“Jason Isbell is one of the premier artists of this era, whose thoughtful and engaged work has gained him worldwide acclaim. This is a wonderful opportunity for Rhodes College and Memphis,” said Hughes, who also wrote the liner notes for Isbell’s Southeastern: 10th Anniversary Edition (2023).

Since emerging in 2003 as a member of the acclaimed band Drive-By Truckers, the singer-songwriter has released a series of celebrated hit recordings and built a reputation as a consistently powerful live performer. In addition to being a Grammy Award winner, Isbell has garnered multiple Americana awards. His albums include Southeastern, The Nashville Sound, and the recent Weathervanes, which explore the range of musical and literary influences that have shaped Isbell since his youth in the Muscle Shoals region of Alabama. In addition, Isbell has written music for films such as A Star Is Born and acted in Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed film Killers of the Flower Moon.

According to Hughes, Isbell also has become a crucial voice for change within the music industry and, beyond addressing the challenges of the past and present in his music, champions the voices of BIPOC and queer musicians in Americana and country music, participating in campaigns for LGBTQ+ equality, reproductive rights, voter registration, and racial justice.

While at Rhodes, Isbell will meet with the Songwriting in Memphis class taught by Dr. John Bass, director of the Mike Curb Institute for Music, which has been recognized by Billboard as a “Top Music Business School” since 2020.

“For our students, learning from Jason Isbell, an artist at the top of his field, and hearing about his journey is a tremendous opportunity for them to think critically about their own journeys as they set out to be the next generation of leaders and changemakers in the world,” said Bass.

Isbell’s visit to Rhodes is sponsored by the Mike Curb Institute for Music, The Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center, and the Springfield Music Lecture Series. The Springfield Music Lecture Series was established in 1991 by a bequest from the late John Murry Springfield, a 1951 Rhodes graduate. Lecturers make presentations that foster an increased appreciation of music as an academic discipline.

Those with specific inquiries about the Rhodes event on Feb. 7 can contact Erika Pope, musical arts coordinator at pope@rhodes.edu or 901-843-3775.

Update, January 30, 2024:

Due to high interest in this program, we are asking that guests register to attend the event. Registration link: (AR) Jason Isbell Lecture (formsite.com)

Parking will be behind and around McNeill Concert Hall.  The lot behind McNeill will open at 4:30.  Doors to McNeill Concert Hall will open at 5:15.  We will send parking passes to registrants on Tuesday afternoon and will have a check-in table in front of McNeill Hall.