UAB’s Alys Stephens Center to celebrate its 15th with Big Sam’s Funky Nation

Boogie with all of Birmingham when UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents inter-ART-ive with Big Sam’s Funky Nation 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011.

Put on your boogie shoes, Birmingham. UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center will celebrate its 15th birthday with a free party Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, and everyone is invited.

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The celebration is inter-ART-ive, an annual free, outdoor community arts and music party featuring Big Sam’s Funky Nation, a driving force of urban funk well-loved by New Orleans Jazz Festival fans. Bring the family and friends, chairs or blankets and prepare to get down—admission to the party is absolutely free and open to all ages.

Inter-ART-ive also will feature UAB’s Marching Blazers Drumline, the UAB Steel Drum Band, an open mic showcase of local talent and a community art project, a craft beer tasting from Free the Hops and Birmingham Budweiser and food for sale from The Cantina on Wheels.

The event will be held in the Alys Stephens Center’s outdoor Engel Plaza and Courtyard, rain or shine. Call 205-975-2787 or visit

ASC Junior Patrons receive VIP Lounge access with complimentary drinks and food. To become a member, call 205-975-5662.

Led by trombone powerhouse and former Dirty Dozen Brass Band member Big Sam Williams, the Funky Nation won’t let an audience sit still. The Oregonian says the band is “tight enough (and hot enough) to turn coal into a diamond!” The San Francisco Chronicle calls Big Sam “the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz.”

Between the band’s scorching solos, Big Sam’s signature dance moves and his distinctive trombone riffs, the Nation cranks the energy level to high voltage. With two European tours, a recurring role in the hit HBO series “Treme” and festival gigs including Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo and SXSW, the Nation will make this an inter-ART-ive to remember.