GREENEVILLE — Caleb Johnson, the Season 13 winner of “American Idol,” will bring his powerful voice to the University of Tusculum for a fundraising concert.
A press release from Tusculum said the event would energize the crowd and allow the university to continue bringing major shows to the area at affordable prices.
Johnson will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 at the Marilyn du Brisk Theater with his band, the Ramblin’ Saints, and will continue rocking well into the evening. He will bring his special brand of rock, honed in hits such as “I Just Want to Celebrate” and “Glory Bound”, to audiences eager to hear his thunderous voice.
“Start your spring on our campus with one of the best young talents in the business,” said Jennifer Hollowell, director of Tusculum’s Center for the Arts. “Caleb’s formidable voice will rock the theater, and the crowd will be fueled by his passion for presenting rock ‘n’ roll at its best. You won’t want to miss one of rock’s rising stars at a bargain price.
Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased in line at https://arts.tusculum.edu/caleb-johnson/. Those who purchase a ticket can pick it up at the box office of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center, home to the Brisk Theater’s Marilyn, on the night of the concert.
The event will raise funds to support Tusculum Arts Outreach, which provides access to exceptional programs for people of all ages, regardless of income. A ticket to most Tusculum programs still costs less than a movie ticket, and the university is committed to keeping prices affordable for everyone. Financial support from the community will also provide the necessary resources for Tusculum to strengthen its artistic equipment.
Not only has Johnson proven himself, but he’s aligned himself with some of the biggest names in the business along the way. He has toured with legendary rock band Kiss as well as Black Stone Cherry and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. His studio band includes world-class drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham, drummer for rock band Led Zeppelin.
Here’s how some of the people he rubbed shoulders with describe Johnson:
• “He’s got the stuff,” said Kiss co-vocalist Gene Simmons.
• “He’s one of the greatest singers I’ve ever heard,” said Jason Bonham.
• “This guy can sing,” said Brian May, lead guitarist for rock band Queen.
Johnson is from Asheville, North Carolina, and he has a brother who is a student in Tusculum. He shot to fame after winning the “American Idol” title, a run that included his version of rock band Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”
Following this success, he released a solo album, “Testify”. He then formed Caleb Johnson and the Ramblin’ Saints, who released their critically acclaimed debut album, “Born from Southern Ground”, in 2019. Then in 2021, the band released “Mountain Mojo Vol. 1” as his second album.
“It’s the best record I’ve done to date,” Johnson said of album two. “Words cannot describe the gratitude I have for this amazing cast of musicians and crew who brought this vision to life in such uncertain times. This is the power of music. Making this record got me through 2020.”
Looking at the concert with a larger lens, Wayne Thomas, executive director of Tusculum Arts Outreach and dean of the College of Civic and Liberal Arts, said the event is a great example of what the university has achieved for years. through its artistic programming.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been one of the few in the country to continue to provide quality live programming, but it’s taken a lot of financial resources,” Thomas said. “We are now asking for help and greatly appreciate any financial donation from the community to maintain this tradition of excellence at affordable prices. The arts enhance the quality of life and bring joy to people. Financial support from the community makes this possible.
Building on a rich Presbyterian heritage and pioneering spirit, Tusculum University offers an active, experiential education in a caring Christian environment to inspire civic engagement, enrich personal lives, and equip career-ready professionals. Tusculum is Tennessee’s premier institution of higher learning and the 28th oldest in the nation. Students are enrolled at the main campus in Greeneville, facilities in Knoxville and Morristown, and online programs.
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