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Memphis Music Feature: Adam Sadberry

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 20th 2020 8706 0

Memphis Music Month continues! Each Tuesday and Thursday in October, we will share a Q&A with a local artist—so you can discover new music and get to know the amazing people making that music. See all the features here.

I’ve partnered with my friends at Memphis Music Hub for this series, so the ‘MH’ you see below stands for Music Hub.

MEMPHIS MUSIC MONTH FEATURE #6: ADAM SADBERRY

At only 24 years old, Adam Sadberry is the acting principal flutist of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has performed with orchestras across the country including the Detroit, Albany, Omaha, and New World Symphonies. 

Adam can be heard playing on the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King (2019).

L. Alex Wilson, my grandfather, was the editor of the Tri-State Defender, and he covered several important moments in history that are featured prominently throughout The National Civil Rights Museum.” – Adam Sadberry

Q&A WITH ADAM SADBERRY

MH: In one word or phrase, what about Memphis inspires you creatively?

Adam: Authenticity.

MH:  Who in Memphis do you love to listen to?

Adam: Jordan Occasionally! They’re an amazing person/musician/activist, and their music always leaves me feeling alive and better connected to myself and the world.

MH: Which place gives you that Memphis vibe?

Adam: The National Civil Rights Museum is VERY close to home for me. L. Alex Wilson, my grandfather, was the editor of the Tri-State Defender, and he covered several important moments in history that are featured prominently throughout The National Civil Rights Museum.

MH: Can you give advice to young artists starting out? 

Adam: The best advice that I can give to a young artist is to always stay curious and to find joy in your art. The moment that you stop asking questions, seeking knowledge, or enjoying the process is the moment that you stop using your “artist soul”.

We are the product of our environments, so as artists, we must crave growth and making new experiences so we can become capable of doing more and more. Use the world and your community to both inform and inspire your craft.

MH: Can you name a particular time or event that changed you as a musician?

Adam: I was attending a summer orchestra program in Michigan (Interlochen Arts Camp) before my senior year of high school, and during its third week, we began rehearsing Dmitri Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony. Everything that I had done up to that point in the program had been exciting, fruitful, and educational, but for whatever reason, these rehearsals were totally superior.

Every player in that ninety-person orchestra was one-hundred percent committed to bringing Shostakovich’s music to life and owning the history behind it. We were unified; each person and instrument section was interconnected, and we breathed and swayed together like a single organism. We painted vivid images with our sounds and sang Shostakovich’s music through our instruments.

Being a part of that whole gave me a new perspective to the phrase “stronger together”. That experience made me realize that I NEEDED to make music with others for the rest of my life, so in hindsight, I am very, very glad that I followed my instincts.

MH: Where can we hear you?

Adam: I’m currently preparing to play a recital with collaborative pianist, Tingting Yao, at the University of Memphis on October 30th at 7:30pm CDT. The concert will be livestreamed! Tingting and I will be playing music by some really awesome composers.

I can also be heard  playing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on a regular basis (well, as regularly as you can during this pseudo-apocalypse).

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