LITTLE ROCK – LITFest, a new, multi-day festival showcasing the best of Little Rock’s music, arts, business and culture, will feature Grammy-winning recording artist Ashanti as a headlining musical performer, with R&B sensation J. Howell opening. Ashanti’s performance is in addition to a wide-ranging lineup of LITFest programming, all of which aims to celebrate and empower Little Rock’s culture, business, arts and diversity.
Ashanti will perform at the Robinson Center Performance Hall on Saturday, Oct. 8. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The first-ever LITFest will take place across the city, with events kicking off Thursday, Oct. 6, and continuing to Sunday, Oct. 9.
“Music is a defining art form that helps unite us as people,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. said. “We are thrilled for Ashanti to join us as part of LITFest, a celebration and collective appreciation for all that Little Rock has to offer to the world and one another.”
Ashanti’s music includes hit songs such as her collaboration with Fat Joe on “What’s Luv?” and with Ja Rule on “Always on Time.” Her hit single “Foolish” spent 32 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, spending 10 weeks at number one and selling more than 2 million copies. She has six studio albums, including her self-titled debut album which certified triple platinum and earned her a Grammy in 2003 for Best Contemporary R&B album.
J Howell is an R&B artist whose hit singles “Talk,” “Deserve,” and “Faithful” charted on the Billboard Adult R&B charts. His debut album Red Room, also includes the hit “Something About Ya” which charted on the Billboard/Urban Mainstream. His music has totaled has more than 34 million streams worldwide.
“Ashanti is a powerhouse artist with incredible music spanning more than a decade,” said Think Rubix Vice Principal Durwin Lairy. “Ashanti’s widespread appeal brings an exciting way to celebrate the city through arts, music, culture and diversity. We can’t wait to welcome her to Little Rock.”
Tickets for Ashanti’s headlining performance can be purchased directly through Ticketmaster beginning Thursday, Sept. 22. Tickets start at $35.00.
In addition to Ashanti’s performance, the inaugural LITFest will feature live music and informative panels on technology and economics, as well as a food truck festival and family events. Learn more about LITFest at www.myLITfest.com or follow the festival at @mylitfest on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Other scheduled musical performances include:
Thursday, Oct. 6
Cons of Formant, 5 p.m., Allsopp Park, 3700 Cedar Hill Road
DeFrance, LA Edwards and Lucero, 7 p.m., The Hall, 721 W. 9th St.
Keia Johnson, 7 p.m., Trois, 4314 Asher Ave.
Friday, Oct. 7
Yuni Wa and Boombox, 7:30 p.m., The Hall
Jzade Forte, 9 p.m., Cannibal and Craft, 307 President Clinton Ave.
Jason Lee Hale, 9 p.m., The Library Kitchen and Lounge, 313 President Clinton Ave.
Jimmy Stigma, 9 p.m., Charlee’s Good Time Drinkery, 500 President Clinton Ave.
Roosevelt, 9:45 p.m., Cannibal and Craft
Bri Ailene, 9:45 p.m., The Library
Emily Fenton, 9:45 p.m., Charlee’s
SYNRGY, 10:30 p.m., Cannibal and Craft
Tragikly White, 10:30 p.m., The Library
Dazz & Brie, 10:30 p.m., Charlee’s
(DJs will perform from an Outdoor Stage on President Clinton Ave. starting at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7)
Saturday, Oct. 8
All performances on historic Ninth Street
Creative Expressions Majorette Team, 11 a.m.
DJ Deja Blu, 11:30 a.m.
The Chores, noon
Jon Bailey, 12:30 p.m.
Westwind Dancers, 1 p.m.
Bonnie Montgomery, 2:15 p.m.
Funkanites, 3 p.m.
Bijoux, 3:30 p.m.
Butterfly from New Orleans, 4:30 p.m.
Blane Howard, 5 p.m.
Even more artists and events, as well as panelists for the LITFest TECH Summit, will be announced soon.
All LITFest events are free to the public with the exception of the Ashanti performance and concerts at The Hall.