District 9 Presents Tuxedo Function In The Junction – Birmingham’s Oldest Music Festival Celebrates 33 years in the Ensley Community
PRESS RELEASE Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Contact: Alexia Patterson, Committee Assistant, District 9
BIRMINGHAM, AL — The 33rd Annual Tuxedo Function in the Junction will be held this Saturday, October 20th, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Erskine Hawkins Park. This event commemorates the life and legacy of Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Erskine Hawkins.
Birmingham City Councilor John Hilliard, of District 9, spearheaded this year’s event. “Ensley is alive, yet while this is not considered to be my district, preserving the history of all of Ensley needs to happen. Many of those who walked the streets of Tuxedo Junction were patrons of Downtown Ensley which is geographically in my district,” Hilliard said.
In Ensley, the site formerly known as Tuxedo Junction was the epicenter of black culture and nightlife in the 1940s and 1950s. This is where Hawkins drew his inspiration for his famous song, “Tuxedo Junction.”
This year’s event will be a kickoff to the Magic City Classic, which is fitting because Hawkins graduated from State Teachers College known today as Alabama State University.
In 1985, Mrs. Magnolia Cook, along with other longtime residents of Ensley, decided to commemorate Hawkins’s birthday with Tuxedo Function in the Junction Jazz Festival. Hawkins attended the event until his death in 1993. To this day it is one of the longest running music festivals in Birmingham. “We wanted to bring back the essence of Ensley’s past. Ensley was a vibrant community filled with great people and limitless resources. Ensley is where the black community thrived,” Hilliard said. The community looks forward to Tuxedo Function in the Junction every year.
This press release was written by Alexia Patterson, Committee Assistant, District 9. For more information contact Alexia Patterson at 205.381.7030. Additional media inquiries can also be directed to Chiara Perry, Interim Director of Public Information at 205.383.8432.