Music on the Hill festival slated for Saturday


Special to the
Opelika Observer

High-energy New Orleans brass band Bonerama will be headline act at Music on the Hill, a new local music festival to benefit the Auburn Arts Association. The event will debut from 5-10 p.m. May 14 at University Place RV Resort on Highway 14 West, just past Chadwick Lane.
Also featured is Jimmy Hall, lead vocalist for Mobile-based band Wet Willie, one of the 2016 inductees into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The Auburn University Faculty Jazz Ensemble will round out the program.
“Even in a city like New Orleans that doesn’t play by the rules, Bonerama is something different. They can take you to the streets of New Orleans. Funk, jazz, blues, rock, all rolled into one set of music, sometimes into one song,” said Willi Cox, chairperson of the event.
Music on the Hill is a successor to the association’s Jazz & Blues Festival, formerly held at Pebble Hill. The festival has been moved to University Place RV Resort in anticipation of a larger crowd than in the past, Cox said.
The Auburn Arts Association’s primary mission is to promote arts education, encourage local artists, and stimulate community interest in the arts. Opelika’s Dora James, honorary chairperson for Music on the Hill, recently took over as chair of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and she said she was especially pleased that revenues generated by the festival will be used for summer art programs for local children.
Thanks to fundraising efforts, including a very generous sponsoring gift from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, 100 percent of ticket sales go directly to the Auburn Arts Association this year.
“Exposing our young people to the arts is a significant endeavor in all parts of the state,” James said. “I applaud the Auburn Arts Association for its initiative in starting Music on the Hill as a new jazz festival in the area.”
Both Bonerama and Jimmy Hall have headlined the Alex City Jazz Fest, a two-day outdoor event that has attracted thousands to downtown Alex City and Lake Martin for 25 years, and Bonerama will be fresh from appearances in New York City and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Cox said he was able to get a band of Bonerama’s stature because of his New Orleans connections.
“New Orleans is a small town and everybody knows everybody,” Cox says.  “I have a little place on Bayou St John, and our neighborhood is full of artists and musicians.”
Sponsorships are still available, including corporate tables for eight. Presale tickets for the event will be available at for $20 at the Guitar Shop, Spicer’s Music, Hair It Is, Stamp and the Chamber of Commerce as well as online on the Auburn Arts Association website at Day of event tickets will be $25. For children under 12, admission is free. This is a rain or shine event.
“This should be an exciting event showcasing many talented musicians,” James said. “I hope the public will take advantage to come out and enjoy a fun evening.”
To learn more about Bonerama visit their website at For more info about Music on the Hill, contact Willi Cox at Check out the Facebook page at on the Hill.


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