Organizers of the Jamestown 2007 commemoration were lucky in at least one sense: They didn't have to look far when they started searching for musical talent.
Williamsburg's Bruce Hornsby will perform a May 12 concert as part of the event's three-day anniversary weekend. As a bonus, Hornsby -- a Grammy-winning songwriter and piano virtuoso -- recruited extra talent from his wide circle of musical collaborators: R&B singer Chaka Khan and bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs.
"I did make a few calls to friends," Hornsby said Thursday. "For anyone who is interested in this sort of thing, the show will have a very interesting stylistic range. So that will be fun. There will probably be some unique cross-pollination moments."
Hornsby said Ricky Skaggs would play a set with Skaggs' own bluegrass band, Kentucky Thunder. But he also will join Hornsby on stage for part of his set. Likewise, Chaka Khan will sing her own tunes -- proba-bly backed by Hornsby's group, The Noise Makers. But she'll also sing in other configurations.
"I wouldn't be surprised if the three of us will do some gospel music," Hornsby said, noting that Khan and Skaggs shared deep gospel roots.
"I'm excited," Hornsby said. "They're both old friends of mine. I think it is going to be a special show."
The concert will take place at Anniversary Park, a space being developed at the site of the former Jamestown Beach Campground. Anniversary Park is situated close to Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne.
In addition to the Hornsby-Khan-Skaggs show, the anniversary weekend will include music from Brule, a rock band that incorporates American Indian influences; Vusi Mahlasela, a South African musician who mixes folk, blues and soul; Mike Seeger, who specializes in Southern folk music; Jen Chapin, whose music is described as "poetic urban folk"; and Scott Miller & The Commonwealth, a Virginia-based alternative country-rock act.
Also, a May 11 concert will feature the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony, per-forming both separately and together. On May 13, the weekend will conclude with performances by a 400-piece orchestra and 1,607-voice choir."A lot of it was planned to play on the idea of cultural diversity," Jamestown 2007 spokesman Kevin Crossett said. "It's going to be an eclectic blend of music styles to represent American roots music." *
WANT TO GO?
America's 400th Anniversary Concert will take place May 12 at Anniversary Park at Jamestown. It will feature music from Bruce Hornsby and The Noise Makers, Chaka Khan, and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
Single-day date-specific tickets to Anniversary Weekend events allow access to programs at three sites: Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne and Anniversary Park. Tickets, available now, are $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free.
Ticket sales will be limited to 30,000 a day. Reservations can be made by calling 866-400-1607 or by visiting www.Americas400th Anniversary.com.