“Freedom Sings” lights up Tucker Theater

Freedom Sings 2017 web

“Freedom Sings,” performed at  Tucker Theater on  Aug 27, featured (left to right): Bill Lloyd, Dave Paulson, Jonell Mosser, Larissa Maestro and Joseph Wooten. Photo by Kim Conro

MTSU kicked off the academic year with an performance of “Freedom Sings” on Aug. 27, a show that brings music and history together to celebrate the First Amendment.


Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment and president of the First Amendment Center, created the live multimedia show that features prominent Nashville recording artists and musicians. It was first appeared at the Bluebird Café in 1999, but has since been performed at universities all across the United States.

“The Freedom Sings show has toured college campuses all over America, and we’re pleased to bring it back to its roots in Middle Tennessee,” Paulson said. “It’s the perfect show for a new generation that has seen so much political divisiveness. Through music spanning 60 years, they hear the story of how so many have used their freedom of speech to make this a more perfect union.”

The Sunday performance was held at Tucker Theater and featured songs that were either banned or censored and/or represented social changes of an era.

The show was narrated by Paulson. The featured performers were:

  • Jonell Mosser, the powerhouse Nashville-based singer who’s sung with Vince Gill, Etta James and Kristin Chenoweth and was a member of the supergroup the New Maroons with Ringo Starr, Don Was and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Her latest album is “Fortunes Lost, Fortunes Told.”
  • Bill Lloyd, who wrote and recorded four Top 10 country hits as a member of Foster and Lloyd, and continues his successful career as a producer, guitarist and songwriter, as well as a foundation member of the Freedom Singers.
  • Joseph Wooten, three-time Grammy winner, solo artist and former keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band and a regular performer with “Freedom Sings.” His most recent album is “Soul of Freedom.”
  • Larissa Maestro, a Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer and arranger who conducts chamber orchestras, performs in musical theater and in the ′90s cover band My So-Called Band, and organizes fundraising events for YEAH! Rock Camps and Nashville’s Oasis Center.
  • MTSU alumnus Dave Paulson, who’s one of Maestro’s bandmates in My So-Called Band and also is a member of The Privates as well as a solo artist. He’s the music writer for The Tennessean and is “Freedom Sings” founder Ken Paulson’s son.

To view part of the performance, please click here.

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Categories: Events, News

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