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Coming
Early 2021

Memphis Listening Lab is a curated collection of music and music history, a forum for music-related talks and performances, and a music education, appreciation, and experimentation space located in Crosstown Concourse. The MLL mission is to provide the community with opportunities to study, research, and enjoy popular music by way of a steadily expanding catalog of resources that represent the rich musical heritage of Memphis.

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Collection

The inaugural collection was generously donated by John King, co-founder of Ardent Records and longtime Memphis music promoter who famously broke iconic Memphis rock band Big Star. His gift of 30,000 45rpm singles, 10,000 LPs, 20,000 CDs, and over 1,000 unique pieces of musical history represents a lifetime of collecting and an incredibly wide spectrum of musical genres, all of which are free to the public for listening and learning enjoyment.

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SoundRoom

The SoundRoom, a listening space designed by Jim Thompson of EgglestonWorks Audio, represents a truly unrivaled auditory experience. The SoundRoom’s speaker system is tuned for reference quality audio and equipped with playback capabilities for nearly every conceivable music medium, physical or digital.

Events at the Lab

Memphis Listening Lab hosts a wide variety of events including listening sessions, record release parties, guest speakers, forums, book signings, and much more. If you would like to inquire about holding an event at Memphis Listening Lab, please contact us.

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Board Members

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Tonya Dyson

Tonya Dyson is at the forefront of today’s Memphis soul scene. Not only is she an accomplished singer and songwriter, but she is the founder of Neosoulville and the Soulsville USA Festival. She also serves as the Executive Director for the Memphis Slim House-- providing local musicians with collaborative space, financial support, and help in navigating the business side of music.

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Catrina Traylor

After serving four years for local non-profit Memphis Music Foundation, Catrina devoted seven years to Memphis’ own legendary Rock 103 as Producer/Host and On-Air Personality of station's local music program Memphis Made. She is currently PR/Marketing Representative for one of the fastest growing record plants in North America - Memphis Record Pressing. Catrina also supports Memphis Music by representing the board of Music Export Memphis and the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy.

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Matt Ross-Spang

Matt Ross-Spang is a Grammy-winning engineer and producer who has worked with John Prine, Jason Isbell, Al Green, Margo Price and a host of others. He was the chief engineer at Sun Studios and now operates his Southern Grooves Productions.

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Sherman Willmott

Sherman Willmott began Shangri-la Records and helped to create the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. He currently owns the record label, production company, and publisher Shangri-la Projects.

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Kortland Whalum

Kortland Whalum is a singer-songwriter and actor, recording and touring with world-renowned artists including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Kortland has also starred in stage productions of The Wiz, AIDA, and Raisin. From 2016-2020, Kortland was the Vocal Director of the Stax Music Academy, responsible for the day-to-day activities for vocalists of the Stax Music Academy. Kortland has ushered in a new generation of aspiring musicians with the help of Justin Timberlake and the Stax Music Academy songwriting cohort.

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Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson is the owner and chief designer at EgglestonWorks loudspeakers. For over 20 years he has traveled the globe promoting his Memphis-based company. Locally, he has been instrumental in the musically-focused Central Station Hotel development. Jim helped to conceptualize the MLL and has designed a reference-level listening experience within the Lab called the SoundRoom.