Delta-born blues music icon B.B. King kicks off the 2011-12 Mississippi State University Lyceum Series season with an Oct. 11 concert.

Taking place throughout the fall and spring semesters, the season also features the Carolina Chocolate Drops, TALK Dance Company, The Acting Company’s performance of “Julius Caesar,” and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

Season-ticket renewal sales opened Friday and continue until July 29. New season-ticket holders may make purchases from Aug. 1-12. Individual tickets for each performance go on sale Aug. 22. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Bettersworth Auditorium of Lee Hall.

The inimitable Mr. King

For more than half a century, B.B. King has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since beginning a recording career in the 1940s, he has released more than 50 albums, many of them now regarded as classics.

A Sunflower County native, he is a member of the Blues Foundation and Rock and Roll halls of fame. In 1987, he received the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and is ranked third on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”


Also on tap

The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Nov. 10 — Recent Grammy winner for Best Traditional Folk Album, the band formed after members Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson met at the 2005 Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, N.C.

All three trained in the Piedmont banjo and fiddle musical tradition under the tutelage of Joe Thompson.

While old-time Southern string music is often associated with Caucasian musicians from Appalachia, Giddens has observed that “it seems that two things get left out of the history books. One, that there was string band music in the Piedmont, period. (And that) black folk were such a huge part of string tradition.”

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