Jun 17: David Greenberger at Barking Legs Theater

Mar 27: Fred Lane and His Disheveled Monkeybiters at the Big Ears Festival (Knoxville) - CANCELLED

Wayne-O-Rama is now closed! It was open from Nov. 19, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. Designed by Emmy-winning artist Wayne White, it's a funhouse of Chattanooga history for all ages. Wayne-O-Rama is sponsored by See Rock City, Inc. and presented by The Shaking Ray Levi Society at the Tenn Arts space, with generous support from the Benwood Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the McKenzie Foundation.

Founded in 1986, the Shaking Ray Levi Society is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts education organization.

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The mission of the Shaking Ray Levi Society is to nurture and support music, film, and performance art that is challenging, non-traditional, and falls outside the mainstream, in order to help nourish the cultural growth of Chattanooga.

This is done by sponsoring shows by artists recognized on a national and international level, supporting original work by area musicians and filmmakers, and engaging the community through workshops and educational outreach programs.

"Only in our country are our children not receiving the benefits of the dynamic energies taking place in our culture and in the heritage of our culture and so, the work of the Shaking Ray Levi Society in my opinion is very important because they are seeking to provide an alternative to the marketplace dynamics." - composer, saxophonist and MacArthur fellowship recipient Anthony Braxton (video)

"SRLS is a very sound organization that has made a strong contribution to Chattanooga over the years" - Dr. Thomas Wolf, WolfBrown

The SRLS is a funded agency of ArtsBuild


Founded in 1986, the Shaking Ray Levi Society (SRLS) is a collective-run non-profit that supports, produces and presents diverse genres of music, film and performance art through festivals, recordings and the Internet. The SRLS is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of non-traditional artists and arts advocates who will continue to challenge local audiences and enhance the cultural growth of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
David Greenberger and Michael Hurley, 2001
Since its inception in 1986, the Society has presented such diverse acts as England's improvisational guitar pioneer Derek Bailey, West African kora player Foday Musa Suso, classical Indian violinist, L.Shankar, National Public Radio correspondents Andrei Codrescu and David Sedaris, New York jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins, multi-wind instrumentalist J. D. Parran, saxophone legend Anthony Braxton, the last traveling Minstrel Performer Abner Jay, and the famous folk artist Rev. Howard Finster. In 1994 the Shaking Ray Levi Society was awarded a Number One rating as a "presenter of adventurous music" by Einstein's Guide to the Musical Universe, a nationally recognized database produced by Roulette out of New York. The SRLS Performance Series has brought a wide variety of artists to Chattanooga stages, including performance artists such as Laurie Anderson and the Shelley Hirsch, independent rock such as Olivia Tremor Control, Cat Power and David Pajo, and multicultural music such as the Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Institute and Djalma.

The SRLS continues to expand and to diversify its audience through live performances, documentation of past performances and recordings in both MP3 and CD formats, and the production of film and video projects. By presenting the work of artists who are representative of a wide variety of genres in the musical and motion-picture arts, the SRLS strives to appeal to the diverse range of tastes found within the Chattanooga community.

The Society's community involvement is not limited to performance, documentation and production--it also offers educational programs in area schools. Many of the Society's guest artists hold workshops for students on jazz instrumentation, composition, and improvisation. In the classroom the Shaking Ray Levi duo directly involve the students in designing, discovering, and playing musical instruments. Their curriculum is multi-disciplinary in nature, created with the goal of helping students to develop valuable skills such as problem solving, group cooperation, active listening, and effective use of available resources. For sample lesson plans, click here.
Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga supports the Shaking Ray Levi Society through a General Operating Support grant as well as specific project support. Grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Southern Arts Federation, Lyndhurst Foundation, British Arts Council, and the Canada Council For the Arts have also funded specific projects. The Society serves as a valuable resource for many regional agencies, providing an extensive range of original music to enhance local productions. Partnerships include involvement with the Hunter Museum of Art, the Chattanooga Downtown Partnership, Miller Plaza, the Association for Visual Artists, Friends of the Riverbend Festival, the Tula Foundation and Gallery of Atlanta, Chattanooga State Technical Community College, Incus Records, WREK of Atlanta, WUTC of Chattanooga, and the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. The Shaking Ray Levi Society relies on a private membership cabinet of financial supporters and volunteers in addition to corporate donations in order to sustain its quality programs.

The performing element of the SRLS is Dennis Palmer and Bob Stagner, who together form the Shaking Ray Levi duo. They have performed extensively from New York to London and have received critical acclaim from the Village Voice, Keyboard, National Public Radio, The New Art Examiner, Tower Records' Pulse! magazine and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The duo uses storytelling, electronics and percussion in addition to handmade instruments of their own design to achieve their distinctive sound. The Shaking Ray Levi Duo has performed extensively with their educational outreach program in many public schools and malls throughout the country. Additionally, they have performed on an international level on London's BBC Program Midnight Oil, at Quebec's International Festival Musique de Actuelle, Newfoundland's Sound Symposium, Denver's ReThink Conference and London's Company Week.

Their first CD appeared in 1993 on the distinguished Incus label of London. Also in 1995 they performed with Japan's renowned Butoh dancer Min Tanaka and Quebec's interactive video artist Don Ritter. In recognition of their abilities they have been awarded grants for their work by the British Arts Council and Meet the Composer. For more information about the SRL duo, click here.

From 1988-1995 the Shaking Ray Levi Society produced the weekly radio program Outside Pleasures, which provided access to innovative, multi-ethnic and adventurous music. The show was broadcast live each Saturday from 10 PM to 1 AM on WUTC Jazz 88 at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Their enthusiastic staff of announcers consistently presented poets, storytellers and live original music, creating the largest and most loyal radio audience of original improvisation in the South.

Since 1986 the Shaking Ray Levi Society has hosted annual festivals such as Artstravaganza and Incus Week, various concert series and their spoken word performance art series, ALL TALK. In May 2001, the Society presented NPR correspondent David Greenberger (accompanied by the Shaking Ray Levis), Folkways recording artist Michael Hurley, and Frank Pahl's Scavenger Quartet at the 4 Bridges Arts Festival in Chattanooga, TN. In 2002, the Society handled music booking for Chattanooga's 4 Bridges Festival.

Some of the artists the Society has brought to Chattanooga include:

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