Dogma Dance Off - Oct 21, Cherry St. Tavern

A Night of Bob (Stagner) w/ Kenito Murray, The Heroes Are Horses, Jon Brumit - Nov 11, Barking Legs Theater

Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris - Nov 15, Barking Legs Theater

History Funhouse: The Wayne-O-Rama Story - through Dec 31, 2023

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.

Make a tax-deductible donation to the SRLS using PayPal:

100% of your donation goes directly toward our outreach and project work.

"Like" us on Facebook!

Check out our Store!

Watch our videos on YouTube!

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 an ArtsBuild Community Arts Partner.


Mark Making and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present:

Dogma Dance Off

Saturday, October 21, 2023, 2 pm
Cherry Street Tavern
719 Cherry St.
Chattanooga, TN 37402
$10 donation at door

Now in its 5th year, returning after a 4-year pandemic break, DOGMA DANCE OFF is an all-day festival and celebration of the D.I.Y. spirit, bringing the community together with fresh musical energy, a visual art fair, and charitable activism.

This diverse all-day extravaganza at Cherry Street Tavern and Cooper’s Alley will feature some of the region’s brightest and newest sounds from local favorites and emerging artists, including the propulsive rock of Psychic Dungeon, off-kilter country/folk from Tennessee Juba, the sinister electronic darkness of Red Gene, and the hardcore/noise-rock/funk/Latin amalgam of The Claw, the self-declared “bravest band in Chattanooga.”

Dogma Dance Off has partnered with the arts non-profit organizations Mark Making and the Shaking Ray Levi Society, with proceeds from the festival going to the mutual-aid organization Chattanooga Free Store.

Music acts:
Psychic Dungeon
The Claw
Tennessee Juba
Red Gene
Mada Heaven
Lunch Meat


Facebook event

CoPAC and The Shaking Ray Levi Society present:

BL30: A Night of Bob (Stagner) feat.
Kenito Murray
The Heroes Are Horses
Jon Brumit

Saturday, November 11, 2023, 7:30 pm
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$30 advance/door, $10 students (door only)

As part of the month-long celebration of Barking Legs Theater’s 30th anniversary, A Night of Bob puts a spotlight on Bob Stagner – beloved percussionist, teacher, co-founder of the arts organization The Shaking Ray Levi Society, and project manager of Wayne-O-Rama. A native Chattanoogan, Bob formed the legendary free improvisation group The Shaking Ray Levis with vocalist/keyboardist Dennis Palmer over 35 years ago and has performed with an astounding number of notable artists including Col. Bruce Hampton, Rev. Howard Finster, Bob Dorough, Wayne White and Derek Bailey.

Bob has curated what will be an unforgettable musical extravaganza featuring some of the region’s most compelling and innovative performers:
● Powerhouse percussionist Kenito Murray, a collaborator with Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra) and member of Wolfpack ATL and Visitors who was awarded “Best Local Instrumentalist” by Creative Loafing Atlanta.
The Heroes Are Horses, who mix moody storytelling, acoustic folk and found sounds (their “atmospheric anomalies”) to make what the Chattanooga Pulse called a “laid-back, somber grandeur that’s just a tiny bit woozy from whiskey.”
● The mind-bogglingly creative, mischievous, and unpredictable polymath Jon Brumit, an instrument inventor, circuit-bender, unconventional drummer, and visual artist (and Kresge Fellow) who has exhibited around the world.

Come early, between 6:30 pm and the 7:30 pm showtime, to enjoy scrumptious Louisiana Hand Pies (not included with admission) from Chef Kenyatta Ashford (Neutral Ground), top winner on the Food Network’s “Chopped.”

Facebook event

CoPAC and The Shaking Ray Levi Society present:

BL30: Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris

part of Barking Legs Theater's month-long 30th anniversary celebration

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 7:30 pm
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$20 advance/door, $10 students (door only)

For over a half-century, self-taught British saxophonist Trevor Watts has been a trailblazing pioneer of free improvisation and has built a mighty reputation for having a bold, compelling voice on the sax. He co-founded the legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in the mid-’60s, which included other heavyweights such as Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, and has recorded for noteworthy contemporary music record labels including Emanem and ECM Records. Watts also formed the outfit Amalgam in the late ‘60s, exploring blends of jazz, improv, rock, and traditional music, and in the ‘80s, he established the Moiré Music ensemble, which merged jazz and African music with an emphasis on rhythm, and The Drum Orchestra, which featured musicians primarily from Ghana. Among his collaborators are jazz giants such as Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, and Steve Lacy.

British percussionist Jamie Harris is an adept performer on hand drums including djembe, darabuka and congas with the ability to be hypnotic, powerful and fiery one moment and deeply expressive and delicate the next. As a young musician, Harris met Watts in 1999 which began a fruitful collaboration, with Harris joining Watts's Celebration Band and also playing in a duo with Watts all over the world, including Mongolia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Together, they've garnered praise for combining sax improvisations, brimming with joy and energy, with infectious rhythms to make uplifting, inventive duets.

Come early, between 6:30 pm and the 7:30 pm showtime, for a demo and artist talk in the lobby from Ghanaian drummer Kofi Mawuko (Ogya World Music Band).

“Watts mixes jazz’s power of surprise with a real musical openness.” - The Guardian

"Trevor Watts was fusing African drum rhythms, jazz sensibilities and free improvisation long before it became a recognised oeuvre and he still does so with integrity and understanding, creating a truly unique musical identity that distils rather than dilutes these disparate elements." - Avant

Facebook event

History Funhouse: The Wayne-O-Rama Story

July 27 - December 31, 2023
Chattanooga Public Library, Downtown location
1001 Broad St. - 3rd Floor
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Admission is free

History Funhouse showcases a selection of three dimensional puppets created by artist Wayne White for his 2016-2017 Wayne-O-Rama installation in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Visitors will experience the art of Wayne White – including puppet heads, full-size puppets, and prototypes – and learn the creative process and historical context of each one through a series of narrative panels and an exhibition of local history artifacts and archival materials.

In the spirit of the original Wayne-O-Rama exhibition, there will be a variety of immersive, interactive, fun, and collaborative experiences.

Check the CPL's History Funhouse page for the latest info about related events.

Thursday, July 27, 2023
Opening Reception
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Come get the first look at History Funhouse while you enjoy hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and remarks from some of the artists and exhibition supporters.

Friday, August 25, 2023
Meet & Greet with Wayne White
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Come meet the man, the myth, the legend… Wayne White! Plus, music by Heroes are Horses and refreshments from Chattanooga Whiskey Co. and Chattanooga Brewing Co.

Saturday, September 23, 2023
Stop Motion Animation with Skeleton Key featuring The Bohannons
Location: Downtown Library, 4th Floor
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Come learn about Chattanooga’s own stop motion animation studio, Skeleton Key! Creator Matt Eslinger will show and tell his creative process, with special guests The Bohannons!

Thursday, October 26, 2023
Beauty Is Embarrassing Screening
Location: Downtown Library, 4th Floor
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Join us for a screening of Beauty is Embarrassing, the exciting documentary film about Wayne White from award-winning director Neil Berkeley. This screening is open to anyone ages 16 and up.

Youth Program Series
The amazing Jennifer Crutchfield with National Parks Partners presents: Are You As Smart As a 4th Grader? Every week, join library and NPP for a fun program that explore 6 historical figures and sites featured in the History Funhouse: The Wayne-O-Rama Story exhibition. Adults are welcome to join their kids, tweens and teens! Click here for dates.

Adult Workshop Series
This series of workshops will dive into the research, creativity and collaboration behind Wayne-O-Rama.

Saturday, August 12, 2023
Workshop #1: Primary Source Research for Creative Projects with Local History
Location: Downtown Library, 3rd Floor
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Jessica Sedgwick, head of Local History, will show you how to find and use historical sources for creative projects.
Saturday, September 2, 2023
Workshop #2: It’s Alive! Constructing the Artist with Matthew Dutton
Location, Downtown Library, 4th Floor
Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Beloved artist Matthew Dutton will lead a workshop to reconstruct the body of a full-size Wayne White puppet. Come for the whole afternoon, or drop in for an hour.

CoPAC and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present

Shane Parish, Trevor Dunn, Danny Piechocki

Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 7:30 pm
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$15 advance / $20 door / $10 students (at door only)

"Megamegalopolis" video
Event page

Over the course of its 20-year history, Ahleuchatistas has pushed the stylistic and technical boundaries of what an instrumental power trio/duo can do.  The genre-defying instrumental juggernaut, led by guitarist Shane Parish, features an all-new trio lineup with Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, John Zorn) on bass, and Danny Piechocki (Terms) on drums – a musical odyssey of pure imagination, combining tight-knit composition with improvisation, and delivering powerful, unforgettable live shows.

The group's 9th album, Expansion, is an advancement of the band’s early radical approach: a Situationist ethos that was overtly committed to sonic disruption. The strategy was to play catchy epic melodic riffs full of fist-pumping emotion, but then abruptly switch to something seemingly unrelated, perhaps just as catchy, before the listener has a chance to achieve any kind of complacency-inducing catharsis.
This resulted in a frenetic and mesmerizing formula which has delighted and bewildered an international cult following of listeners for two decades. Adding the virtuosic and singularly creative Dunn and Piechocki to the mix has propelled Ahleuchatistas’ rhythmic and compositional possibilities beyond anything they have created prior.

“[An Ahleuchatistas song is] the kind of musical tug-of-war that sounds as jagged as it is graceful...remarkably tight, with the ability to turn complicated and seemingly unrelated phrases on a dime.” - Lars Gotrich, NPR

WHAT DOES "AHLEUCHATISTAS" MEAN? The band’s name, pronounced “AH-LOO-CHA-TEES-TAS,” is a portmanteau of “Ah-Leu-Cha,” the Charlie Parker song, and “Zapatistas,” the Mexican revolutionary movement: “Musical revolution and social revolution combined into a single coinage.”

The Shaking Ray Levi Society celebrates over thirty years of extraordinary and challenging music and art in Chattanooga and beyond.


The work of the Shaking Ray Levi Society was praised in the latest VSA TN (Very Special Arts) newsletter:

"VSA Tennessee teaching artist, Bob Stagner, recently completed an artist residency at the Dawn School in Chattanooga involving studying the relationship between music and architecture. In this residency, the students first had to comprehend two art forms, then begin to understand advanced concepts for sound formation and structures, and build a vocabulary with a variety of percussion instruments. The students worked in groups with electronic devises and building models as well as with a variety of percussion instruments. The stories below are shared by the teaching artist with the permission of the students and their families:

Adeline is a 6th grader at Dawn School with severe depression and learning disabilities. She’s a delicate, soft spoken young lady who rarely talks above a whisper and remains part of the woodwork in most classes. Our workshop included architectural city shapes and their sound wave counterparts. Adeline created wave forms using two Moog devices, one for constant sound, the other for tone manipulation: vibrato, tempo, rate, pitch, and frequency.  The result was a dynamic shift in her mood as she turned each dial to a new setting to match our cityscape of over 15 models. Her smile showed pure joy as she retained the concept and gained control of understanding wave/sound shape and an architectural shape.

Victor is 6th grader at Dawn School with Autism. His speech therapist felt our project would be ideal to encourage speech. After our 1st week, it was clear he would retain the exercises and gain confidence. Victor’s mother has remarked how excited her son was to be a valued group member. He has also shown more focus with tasks/lessons at home. Victor seemed very proud of new skills and has proved to be a strong class leader.

Funding provided by a grant through the VSA offices of the John F Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Tennessee Department of Education."

p.o. box 21534 chattanooga, tn 37424 - phone: 423.910.9729
contact us