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Memphis, Tennessee: A Rich Legacy of Music, Culture, and History!

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During an extensive history that has spanned more than two centuries, the landmark city of Memphis has distinguished itself as far more than a community. It’s a cultural mecca. At 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29, composer-lyricist, concert artist, writer, keynote speaker and educator, Joy Katzen-Guthrie will present Memphis, Tennessee: A Rich Legacy of Music, Culture, and History! at an Academia Hernando presentation set to take place at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. Face masks are required for attendance.  

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“As a native Memphian, Joy Katzen-Guthrie is passionate about Memphis—a city that celebrated its 200th birthday in 2019,” read an event description. “She brings an exploration into the city’s rich culture and history.”

Katzen-Guthrie settled in the Tampa Bay area in 1981 and resides in Palm Harbor. She has created and served as scholar-in-residence for seven Jewish heritage tours in China and Turkey and has developed heritage tours to Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, Cuba, and Alaska. She has been a Cantorial Leader and Music Director for Florida congregations since 1990, has published 14 recordings, and is a longtime instructor for Eckerd College OLLI and the University of South Florida OLLI, Elderhostel, Road Scholar, Learning Inn and other adult learning series. 

With her husband Mark, she operates a professional recording studio, has received appointments to the Florida Artist Residency Directory, has been awarded two arts resource fund performance arts grants from the Pinellas County Arts Council. 

She received BFA and BA degrees in music and broadcast communications from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Prior to her music career, she served Tampa Bay’s WPLP/News-Talk Radio as Executive Producer and Operations Manager in addition to serving as a broadcaster for Classics 92, WDAE, and W101 Radio. Since June 2019, she has been programmer/host of Tampa Bay’s longtime broadcast, The Sunday Simcha, on WMNF Community Radio Tampa 88.5 FM and WMNF.org. Visit her website at https://joyfulnoise.net/  

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“As a native Memphian, I have always been fascinated by and have loved sharing stories of Memphis and its rich history,” she said. “The city’s influential blues and rock’n’roll connection is well known and I certainly touch upon that with a look at the legendary Beal Street, Sun Studios, Stax Records, Graceland, and more. My program will be an opportunity to discover more about the city’s versatile history than many may know. We’ll look back at a time when this land was the home of Native American cultures, how the city came to be founded by Andrew Jackson and his colleagues, and how it came to be one of the world’s major transportation hubs before, during, and after the Civil War. It is a city with a population that has had to learn to respect one another and to overcome—during Reconstruction, civil rights struggles, and the tragedy of Martin Luther King’s assassination.” 

“It is a city that literally rose from the ashes after devastating Yellow Fever epidemics to become one of the world’s medical centers,” she said. 

Sharon Printz, a board member of Academia Hernando, says that 

Katzen-Guthrie is an excellent speaker.

“She is so talented,” she said, “and tells great stories.”

Drawing its origins more than a decade ago from the popular Mondays in Brooksville program, Academia Hernando–the not-for-profit lifelong learning organization providing quality instruction and learning experiences for adult students throughout Hernando County and beyond–is returning in grand fashion for the Fall 2021 season, as sponsored by The Hernando Sun, Kenjo’s Tree Service and The Residence at Timber Pines. 

“Our goal is to inform, educate and inspire adult learners through a series of weekly lectures on a wide variety of topics,” reads a mission statement found at https://www.academiahernando.org/about.

Tickets to individual lectures are $10. For more information, visit www.academiahernando.org or call (352) 515-0300 or (352) 686-4035.

Joy Katzen-Guthrie
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