New Amphitheater to Host Local Artists and Free Concerts

Deneisha Pearson

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Some know him as James Louis but most know him as Shine.

Louis got his nickname because he owns a shoeshine shop, but at heart he says he's a musician.

You can see his face on the wall at the new Jackson amphitheater.

“You know I wouldn't get the big head if I could be famous as Elvis or James Brown,” Louis said. “I just consider myself as an amateur.”

Louis is expected to be one of the first local talents to take the stage of the city owned venue. Organizers hope to host rockabilly, jazz, country and blues artists for free concerts.

Jimmy Exum is chairman of the amphitheater board. He says the theater can hold up to 1500 people, the only thing that's missing now is the canopy.

“We would like to have that finished by somewhere around January or February,” Exum said.

Shine says he's ready to take the stage and help revitalize area.

“The purpose of this is trying to get downtown Jackson back alive again,” Louis said. “My saying is...when the saints go marching in...I ain't got to be a head, just as long as I'm in the number.”

You don't have to go far to catch the shows. The theater is right next to the Farmer's Market and Jackson Walk Complex.

The city says it will find sponsors to pay the performers, in order to keep the concerts free.

It's estimated the amphitheater will host its first concert in the spring of 2014.


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