Wisconsin Public Radio’s Route 51 and the Great Northern Blues Society will host a live Blues in the Schools concert with the Norman Jackson Band.

The event, at 10 a.m. on March 8, will bring regional high school and college music directors and their students to the James F. Veninga Theater in the Center for Civic Engagement on the UW Marathon County campus in Wausau. This Blues in the School concert is free and open to the public.

Host Glen Moberg will talk with Norman Jackson about his many years of experience as a singer and guitarist, and talk to the students and music directors about the importance of the arts and music in public education. One student will have an opportunity to perform with Jackson on stage.

Jackson grew up in Chicago and Detroit, and learned from many of the blues masters. He has been profoundly influenced by gospel music, and has performed with the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Chilites, and George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic. The Norman Jackson Band came in third in the 2016 International Blues Challenge competition. The self-proclaimed “Baddest Soul Band in the Land” combines musical virtuosity with laughter and showmanship.

Route 51 can be heard from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursdays on The Ideas Network stations 101.3 & 91.9 Wausau, AM 930 Auburndale/Stevens Point, 99.1 Stevens Point, 100.9 Marshfield, 90.3 Park Falls, 89.1 Adams/Wisconsin Rapids, HD 90.9-3 and 89.9 Rhinelander/Eagle River.

Route 51 will take listener calls live at 1-800-780-9742. The program is re-broadcast at 7 p.m. Fridays on 90.9 Wausau.

Photo: Courtesy of the Norman Jackson Band