Florida Soul: From Ray Charles to KC and the Sunshine Band author John Capouya will read from his new book at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 9) at The University of Tampa’s board of trustees room on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd.
Capouya teaches journalism and nonfiction narrative at the University of Tampa and is the author of three nonfiction books including Gorgeous George. His new book, Florida Soul, traces the evolution of R&B and funk in the state.
Timmy Thomas, one of the artists featured in Capouya’s book will be on stage speaking and playing keyboard while helping co-narrate his story. Thomas is a Miami-based singer, songwriter and keyboardist. Thirteen of his songs have made the Billboard Magazine R&B sales charts. He continues to act as an educator and community activist and perform and record for Allsun Records.
Florida Soul features a chapter on Thomas that focuses on his classic protest song Why Can’t We Live Together, a piece Thomas wrote during the Vietnam war, at the end of the civil rights era. The piece hit number one in 1972. The song took the singer to South Africa, where the song became the anthem of the anti-apartheid movement. He returned to play the song in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration.
At the story’s end, Thomas will perform a solo at the event. The reading is a part of UT’s creative writing MFA program Lectores Reading/Performance series. Capouya teaches as a professor in the MFA program.
Capouya released the book in September 2017 and documents some of the history of Soul music that unknowingly originated in Florida. Capouya chronicles this history through interviews from some of the well-known names of Soul in his book.
The University of Tampa MFA program hosts visiting writers, screenwriters, singers and other artists to campus every January and June to give a public performance from their work. All events begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. The Lectores Series will continue until its final performance on Thursday (Jan. 11). The reading is free and open to the public.