The neighborhood and community are invited to Holy Cross’ Festival on Cason from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at the church on Cason Lane.
The Festival on Cason is an all-day outdoor free music fest Saturday, Sept. 15 offers family-friendly kids’ activities, jazz, classical, southern rock and blues music presented by four different bands, great cookout food plus a craft fair; headliner band Max Johns takes the stage at 3 p.m.
The day-long outdoor event is a family friendly music festival with performances by four bands, kids’ activities, home-cooked hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixins, and a lineup of craft booths and vendors.
“Virtually our whole church is working on this big family music event,” said Holy Cross member Stacey Mercer, chairwoman of Festival on Cason. “Holy Cross Episcopal Church has always had a strong emphasis on music and the idea of Festival on Cason began when a few of our church members were brainstorming and talking about creating another way to invite the community in and share music with us. It’s really grown into what’s going to be a great day of fun.”
The day begins at 10 a.m. with area jazz artist the Jerry Anderson Ensemble, followed by the This Modern Station, a southern rock group at 12:30 p.m., and regional favorite Max Johns, taking the stage at 3 p.m. A classical music ensemble lead by Elaine Winters will round out the music.
Johns’ take on the blues could be the highlight of the afternoon.
He recently has gained critical acclaim as a singer, songwriter and guitarist; his performances have consistently been reviewed as powerful and exciting.
His musical career began at an early age when at 10 years old he received his first guitar and it became his instrument of choice.
After graduating high school in 1979, Max continued his education at Tuskegee University, entering the engineering program. While in college he played in rhythm and blues, rock and jazz bands and became a sought-after talent in the small college town.
In 1982, a college internship took him to the Washington D.C. area; once the internship was over he stayed in the area, eventually getting back into the music scene. In mid-1983, he was hired as guitarist/keyboard player with African percussionist Bai Blyden.
“It was an incredible education. I was in my early 20s and these guys were all at least 15 years older than I was. I learned about allowing the music to come to me and then taking it where I wanted it to go,” Johns said.
Max moved back to his native Tennessee a couple of years later and steadily worked weekends as a performer while going back into engineering. By 1990, Max Johns was a full-time musician playing regularly in clubs, first in his hometown of Murfreesboro and then quickly increasing his following.
In 1995, he released “I Could be Dangerous” for Appaloosa Records. The CD received a Blues Album of the Year nomination at the Nashville Music Awards.
Max and his band, The Mojo Junkies, compiled successful tours of Europe, highlighted by appearances at the Amsterdam Blues Festival, The Heineken Music Fest, The Berlin Blues Festival and the Genoa Labor Day Festival opening for Sam Cooke’s Soul Stirrers.
Other than the music, the Festival on Cason includes children’s activities, which are scheduled beginning at 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and include inflatables, a crafts table and face painting.
The Craft Fair booths include handmade soaps, items made from recyclable items, matted photography and a bake sale.
“The music and children’s activities are free, and we’d love for the entire community to come out and join us,” Mercer said. “We suggest that folks bring a few dollars for great home-cooked food, to patronize the vendor booths, and to enjoy our lemonade stand and bake sale.”
Holy Cross Episcopal Church is located at 1140 Cason Lane in Murfreesboro.