The Bessie Smith Heritage Festival kicks off today, and will wrap up tomorrow. Organizers say it's bigger and better than last year. The fifth annual celebration named in honor of the Chattanooga legend will feature music by local and nationally known blues, neo soul and jazz artists.
We caught up with a couple of the performers. Musician Cofi Mawuko said, "We are very happy to be here and also spread and educate everybody about the roots of African music that has its influence in every style of music." Musician Rick Rushing said, "It's so special to be here because Bessie Smith started her career on these streets and ended up on the top of the world with music, so it's a heritage festival and that's what it's all about."