April 18

GRAMMY-Nominated Thompson Square to Perform Benefit Concert to Raise Money for Rare Genetic Disorder

May 6 concert will benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation

On Monday, May 6, 2019, GRAMMY-nominated, MULTI-PLATINUM Country duo Thompson Square will perform A Night of Hope: A Concert to End NF at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN, to raise awareness and money for neurofibromatosis.

Also known as NF, this rare genetic disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects 1 in 3,000 people of all populations and there is no cure. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation the leader in the fight to end NF and a model for innovative research endeavors.

Thompson Square is comprised of husband-and-wife team, Keifer and Shawna Thompson. Since breaking out in 2010 with their 2X-PLATINUM #1 smash “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” the pair have gone on to score two Top 5 albums and another romantic #1 hit with PLATINUM-certified “If I Didn’t Have You” while also racking up multiple GRAMMY nominations and three trophies as Vocal Duo of the Year from the ACM and CMA Awards. Thompson Square’s third studio album, MASTERPIECE, is out now.

“We’re honored to be performing at A Concert to End NF and helping to bring awareness to this devastating disease,” shared Keifer.

Shawna adds, “Family is everything to us, and it means so much to be a part of something that is bringing the community together, making memories, and helping raise money for research.”

The benefit concert takes place during NF Awareness Month, a month-long awareness campaign that includes online and offline events designed to educate the community about this under-recognized genetic disorder, and bring together those living with NF with their families, friends, the larger community, fundraisers and researchers. As part of the international Shine a Light on NF campaign, the Korean Way Veterans Memorial Bridge (Nashville, TN) will glow blue and green, joining hundreds of landmarks around the world. In prior years, former Governor Haslam has proclaimed the month of May as NF Awareness Month in Tennessee. (Photo credit: Garrett Merchant)

“The Children’s Tumor Foundation is thankful that Thompson Square will perform this benefit concert during NF Awareness Month,” said Annette Bakker, PhD, Children’s Tumor Foundation President. “It takes many different ways of raising money and awareness to make an impact and drive research forward, and we’re ecstatic to have the support of Thompson Square.”

Currently there is no cure for NF, but clinicians and scientists are optimistic that with funding for more research, actionable treatment options to improve the lives of the 2.5 million people living with NF will be attainable. WSMV-TV Features Reporter Terry Bulger will host the evening.

To purchase tickets to see Thompson Square perform in A Night of Hope: A Concert to End NF, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about neurofibromatosis and the Children’s Tumor Foundation, visit www.ctf.org.

June 16

The Second Story: A Writer’s Night “Reimagined”

“THE SECOND STORY:  A WRITER’S NIGHT REIMAGINED”

July 21 show features Ruby Amanfu, Peter Cooper, Bob DiPiero and Dennis Matkosky

Middle Tennessee is blessed with a remarkable creative community, especially in the realm of songwriting. Many of these great talents are regularly featured in “songwriter rounds” where the actual writers of hit songs not only perform them, but share the story behind the music.

The historic Franklin Theatre has been working on a new twist to the traditional “rounds” to showcase the writers and also weave the talents of other types of writers (authors, poets, playwrights) into the evening. They’re calling the concept “The Second Story.”

According to Franklin Theatre executive director Dan Hays, “The Second Story is a writer’s night ‘reimagined.’ We invite an author to take at least one song from the three featured songwriters that evening and to reimagine the music and words and weave the song from each of them into an entirely new short story. In short, they come up with a ‘second’ story inspired by the songs. The author then tells that story – on stage – and the selected songs are performed and woven into the presentation for the audience.“

The evening also opens up with a traditional “songwriter round” of performances, so there’s plenty of great music from everyone involved.

“Our first two presentations of this concept have been magical evenings. The music has been stellar from the songwriters and the stories created by the authors have mesmerized audiences with wonderful tales and laughter and some wonderful unexpected twists,” says Hays.

On Friday, July 21, “The Second Story” will weave together words and music of these accomplished artists:

Ruby Amanfu: Whether lending vocals to Beyoncé’s album, or writing and performing Grammy-nominated songs, the Ghana-born, Nashville-reared artist has generated a succession of critically acclaimed projects. Her single “Sugah” reached No. 3 on Billboard’s airplay chart in 2003. Songs penned by a variety of acts, including Kelly Clarkson, Lene Nystrom, Sanne Salomonsen, Rachael Lampa, and the Duhks (for which she received Grammy recognition). Ms. Amanfu is also a part-time actor currently appearing as herself on the current season of “Nashville.”

Bob DiPiero: Hall of Fame Songwriter Bob DiPiero is one of Nashville’s most prolific and consistent songwriters with over 1,000 songs recorded by other artists and 15 #1 hits. His songs have been featured in TV shows, commercials and movies and, in 2011, his song “Coming Home” from the Country Strong movie soundtrack was nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe Award. Among his countless awards are 50 BMI Million-Air honors and multiple Songwriter of the Year awards.

Dennis Matkosky is the Grammy award-winning, Academy and Golden Globe nominated responsible for such iconic radio smashes as “Maniac” (#1 in 18 countries), “I Need You” (LeAnn Rimes) and “You’ll Think Of Me,” the pop-crossover #1 smash by Keith Urban. From “Flashdance” to Rascal Flatts, he has penned hits for Diana Ross, Boz Scaggs, Smokey Robinson and Kenny G (to name a few).

Peter Cooper: The storyteller for the evening is an author, songwriter, Grammy-nominated musician, a country music historian, and a senior director, producer, and writer at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. His recent book, Johnny’s Cash & Charley’s Pride: Lasting Legends and Untold Adventures in Country Music, was recently released to great acclaim. named one of Nashville’s “10 Most Interesting People” by Nashville Arts & Entertainment magazine. Kris Kristofferson wrote, “Peter Cooper looks at the world with an artist’s eye and a human heart and soul.”

Tickets can be purchased at franklintheatre.com or by calling the Box Office at 615-538-2076. Live music shows presented by the Franklin Theatre are sponsored by Jackson National Life.