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New Episodes Feature Toby Keith, a George Harrison Tribute, Jason Isbell, and Jake Owen

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - March 31, 2016

WTTW’s popular music series SOUNDSTAGE returns in April 2016 with all-new episodes premiering on PBS stations nationwide and on WTTW11 beginning Thursday, April 28 at 8:00 pm, and continuing through May 19. Taped in front of an intimate, live studio audience, SOUNDSTAGE brings the thrill of a live concert performance to you. With a 360° view, viewers will feel like they are part of the audience during these special, interactive performances with musical icons and talented up-and-comers alike. Showcasing classic hit songs, tributes, and exciting collaborations, the spring 2016 SOUNDSTAGE lineup features:

Toby Keith (April 28) Award-winning country superstar Toby Keith has dominated the country music scene for more than two decades with his signature honkytonk singing and songwriting. Cowboy hats and boots are everywhere when the SOUNDSTAGE Studio goes country and Keith brings the house down! Toby Keith and his tight-knit band perform their popular hits, as well as selections from Keith’s latest album, 35 MPH Town.

GeorgeFest (May 5) (A George Harrison Tribute) The Cabin Down Below hosts this special evening at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles celebrating the music of the legendary George Harrison. Featuring an eclectic mix of guest artists paying tribute to the late Beatle – Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Dhani Harrison, Ann Wilson of Heart, Ben Harper, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips, and Brian Bell of Weezer, as well as many more surprise guests – this historic episode of SOUNDSTAGE honors George Harrison’s legacy in a beautiful way.

Jason Isbell (May 12) A recent double Grammy Award-winner for Best Americana Album (Something More Than Free, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts), and Best American Roots Song (“24 Frames”), country singer-songwriter Jason Isbell makes his SOUNDSTAGE debut. A native of Green Hill, Alabama, Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit, perform songs off his Grammy winning album as well as his critically acclaimed album Southeastern. Isbell stepped off his American tour and onto the Grainger Studio stage to provide this unforgettable performance.

Jake Owen (May 19) Country music’s “barefoot” rising star Jake Owen makes an electrifying SOUNDSTAGE debut! Guided by sheer musical instinct and a willingness to experiment, this Grammy and CMA Award Nominee ascended to stardom with five #1 smashes, including the two-time platinum anthem “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.” Owen has toured with such artists as Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and others, and in this exclusive SOUNDSTAGE performance, he is truly “Settin’ the World on Fire.”

SOUNDSTAGE is a co-production of WTTW Chicago, BMG Rights Management (U.S.) LLC, and HD Ready LLC. HD Ready’s Joe Thomas is the Executive Producer and Director. WTTW’s Kim Mattes is the Producer.

Long before MTV and VH1, the acclaimed WTTW series SOUNDSTAGE debuted with an innovative concert format that was unique to television. This timeless music program garnered widespread critical acclaim and featured many artists who defined the musical eras, including such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and the Doobie Brothers. Since the 1970s, an eclectic variety of musical artists across pop, rock, country, soul, bluegrass, and folk genres have appeared on the series, including Tom Petty, B.B. King, Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews Band, Emmylou Harris, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, and many more. SOUNDSTAGE is taped in WTTW’s Grainger Studio in Chicago, and at special venues across the country.

About WTTW Chicago
WTTW Chicago produces and presents a wide array of engaging content for the national public media system, with series and specials on education, politics, public affairs, science, business, arts and entertainment, history, travel, how-to, and religion. In addition to its landmark music series SOUNDSTAGE, additional WTTW Chicago series include 10 THAT CHANGED AMERICA and other architecture specials with Geoffrey Baer; MEXICO — ONE PLATE AT A TIME with Rick Bayless; and the new animated series NATURE CAT. For more information, please visit