About us

MAMA is baaaackkk!!! We thank all of you who have written to see if we're still around. We took a much-needed break and went back to our day jobs, but now, fresh from Folk Alliance with renewed energy, we are busy booking great concerts for the rest of 2012.

In addition to the stunning guitarist CLIVE CARROLL on April 21st (see Homepage), we're bringing a powerhouse group of Nashville musicians who have banded together (anywhere from 8 to 15 people) to form the Cumberland Collective. Their first CD is coming out in April and you'll see why everybody at Folk Alliance was clamoring to get into their showcase if you come to their first MAMA concert on May 12.

Another Folk Alliance discovery is an international guitar duo, New York acoustic guitar standout Loren Barrigar and New Zealand star Mark Mazengarb. Chet Atkins fans, this is especially one for you! They'll be here on July 14.

We are a small organization in a city overflowing with music and music history, but the arts community knows that MAMA offers something special. Since our founding in 1997, we have received grants from ArtsMemphis and from Folk Alliance.  Channel 3, WEVL, and WKNO have all hosted MAMA performers, and Beale Street Caravan has broadcast three of our shows worldwide. For the past two years, we have had a stage at the popular RiverArts Fest in October and featured some of the best musicians in Memphis. 

MAMA not only features fine musicians, but we sometimes take them to schools, where they perform, but sometimes they also teach--about the music, the history, the instruments. Spencer Bohren has introduced thousands of Memphis City Schools students to American roots music. For his work in schools throughout the country, Spencer received the Keeping the Blues Alive in Education award from the International Blues Challenge in 2010. Spencer has also received grants to teach art workshops at the Memphis College of Art and at three local high schools. Others we have taken to school are Incendio ( Latin fusion guitar trio), Memphis' Sid Selvidge, and England's satirist/poet  Les Barker. If you have some ideas about how this might happen at a school you’re interested in, let us know.

As you can see, MAMA entertains, MAMA educates, MAMA keeps the music alive.

If you'd like to help us thrive, we have these suggestions:

1. Come to our concerts! Most of our musicians are not famous, but most have won all sorts of awards.... from Best New Band at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to Grammies. There are few places in town to hear roots-oriented music as good as ours. Most of our shows are at Otherlands Coffee Bar in Midtown Memphis, but we have also had concerts at the Brooks Museum, the Pink Palace Museum, and Buckman Performing Arts Center, and the much -missed Cordova Cellars Winery. We are returning to our roots this year with a couple of house concerts as well, always a memorable way to hear music.

2. Join MAMA. To become a subscriber to our series,  send a $20 check to

The Memphis Acoustic Music Association
P.O. Box 42024
Memphis TN 38174-2024

3. Next time you renew your car registration, buy an specialty ARTS tag for only $35.   90% of the license tag money goes to support the arts in Tennessee. Go to www.stateyourplate.org   and see how beautiful the new license tag is and order yours.

4. Underwrite a concert ($200) or partially underwrite a concert ($100). We'll include your business logo on all our publicity if you wish. This is an excellent way to promote your business or celebrate a special occasion--birthday, anniversary, etc.--while simultaneously helping our concert series thrive.

The Memphis Acoustic Music Association is a non-profit organization that promotes the preservation and performance of acoustic and folk music. National touring musicians at our concerts play everything from blues and old time music to traditional folk, contemporary folk, Celtic, and acoustic guitar. Our concerts are wheelchair-accessible and welcome all music lovers regardless of creed or ethnic origin.