Kyshona Brings Musical Healing to Fogartyville's Season Opener

Arts & Culture

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY OCT 4, 2019

As a music therapist, Kyshona Armstrong used the power of music to help her patients process their feelings. Now a singer-songwriter, her mission is the same even if her methods have changed. This Sunday, Sarasota will have an opportunity to witness this Nashville-based master of musical healing at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, where her storytelling, songs of redemption and self-love will lift spirits while reminding audience members that they are never alone.

“I want people to walk away feeling activated,” says Armstrong. She uses many of the stories she heard during her time as a therapist as inspiration for her lyrics. One of her songs, “Cornelius Dupree,” explores the emotional journey of a real-life man wrongly incarcerated for 30 years. In it, Armstrong speaks from the perspective of the wrongly accused, repeating simple, emotive mantras in search of grace in the face of a grave injustice. Like this song, the rest of her catalog carries the same sense of hope. “I want to be a voice and a vessel for those who feel forgotten,” she says, and that mission has translated into shows that often feel more like a revelation than entertainment.

Armstrong, who often serves as an opening act for more well-known bands, looks forward to opportunities like her TEDx shows in Nashville and Greenville, where she got to perform as the evening’s main attraction. “It’s nice to be able to play to strangers and catch them,” she says, “but Fogartyville is more of an event just for me.” And those wise enough to watch her this Sunday may find as much cathartic power in Armstrong’s humble acoustic act as they would in the most impassioned sermon. The doors open at 6 pm, music starts at 7. Food will be available from Leaf and Lentil’s food truck outfit.

Pictured: Kyshona Armstrong, photo by Hannah Miller

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