Art would never survive the ravages of history without its storytellers; the ancient and modern griots descended from a long line of West African ancestors. It is those men and women who stoke the elemental fire of The Blues and (thus) of Jazz. The gilded voices of the sharecroppers, born of slaves and freemen, the quilters and in rare – very rare – instances indeed in the voices of the spiritually-connected, whose skin was bleached, not burned by the sun. Such a rarity is Barbara Dane, a woman in a minority of one today. Exuding both the pain and the joy of the blues as she did when she caught the ear of Louis Armstrong who when he first heard her sing, was moved to exclaim in Time magazine in 1959: “Did you get that chick? She’s a gasser!” That was followed up by Armstrong inviting Dane to appear with him on national television, and on the Timex All-Star Jazz Show hosted by Jackie Gleason on January 7, 1959. Read more...
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Boston Globe: In Song and Struggle Barbara Dane, A Singular Voice