Fantastic Negrito Plays South on Main - Arkansas Free Press
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General News arrow Music Beats arrow Fantastic Negrito Plays South on Main
Fantastic Negrito Plays South on Main PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Harris   

Photo credit: Max Claus

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS-Oxford American, "A Magazine of the South," is proud to continue its 2017-18 Concert Series with Fantastic Negrito on Thursday, October 19 at South on Main (1304 Main Street). Please note, October 19 is a change of date from the originally scheduled performance date. The show starts at 8:00 PM and doors open at 6:00 PM, with food and drinks available for purchase at that time. Tickets range from $30 to $40 and are available via or by calling 800-293-5949. This is the second of four concerts in the 2017-18 Archetypes & Troubadours Series, which is made possible in part by the generosity of presenting sponsors Chris Harkins of Raymond James and J. Mark & Christy Davis.

Additional season partners include UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Acura, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Ben E. Keith Foods Mid-South Division, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Arkansas Arts Council, ACANSA Arts Festival, Capital Hotel, Rosen Music Company, and Piano Kraft.

Fantastic Negrito is a man's truth told in the form of black roots music. Each song is a real story about a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million dollar record deal, the lows of a near fatal car accident that put him in a four-week coma, and is now in the phase of rebirth despite his playing hand being mangled. Negrito's music emphasizes rawness and space. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Rather than update the Delta Blues, Fantastic Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip James intact, building bridges to a modern sound with loops and samples of his own live instruments. But the primary element that drives Fantastic Negrito's music is uncut realness and zero concern for "pop" anything.

While his rebirth began on the streets of Oakland a couple years ago, Fantastic Negrito arrived on the national stage in 2015 when he won the NPR Tiny Desk Contest and watched his self-titled EP ascend to #1 in Blues in the US, UK, Germany, and Asia. He followed that up in 2016 with the release of his debut full-length album The Last Days of Oakland, national television appearances on hit show Empire and Jimmy Kimmel Live, several performances at rallies for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and tours throughout Europe and North America with Chris Cornell, and legendary Seattle super group Temple of the Dog. The year culminated when his debut album won the Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.


Oxford American is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization and national magazine dedicated to featuring the very best in Southern writing, while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South. The Oxford American is committed to the development of young individuals aspiring to work in the publishing industry and to the production and presentation of multidisciplinary arts events in and around Little Rock, Arkansas. Billed as "A Magazine of the South," it has won four National Magazine Awards-including the 2016 Award for General Excellence in the category of Literature, Science and Politics-and other high honors since it began publication in 1992. The magazine has featured the original work of such literary powerhouses as Charles Portis, Roy Blount, Jr., ZZ Packer, Donald Harington, Donna Tartt, Ernest J. Gaines, and many other distinguished authors, while also discovering and launching the most promising writers in the region. The magazine has also published previously unseen work by such Southern masters as William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, James Agee, Zora Neale Hurston, James Dickey, and Carson McCullers, to name just a handful. The Oxford American is published from the University of Central Arkansas. For more information, visit

South on Main is a restaurant and performance venue featuring the best of Southern cuisine and culture. With a kitchen helmed by Chef Matthew Bell, the restaurant offers a sophisticated but unpretentious atmosphere and a creative and accessible menu. South on Main also presents programming related to the content of the Oxford American magazine, including musical performances, literary readings, film screenings, and other offerings, making it the place where the Oxford American goes "from the page to the stage."


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