Keeping The Blues Alive Recipient - 2012

Blues In The Schools

Blues In The Schools, what is that all about? If you listen to and enjoy any type of popular American Music, then you are listening to an evolution of the Blues. Jazz, R&B, Soul, Funk, Rock & Roll, Country and even Rap and Hip Hop all have their origins in this thing we call the Blues. The Blues is the proud mother and father of all American Music.

The story of the Blues begins not with the musicians and singers who created this wonderful music, but with one of the most brutal and tragic events in the history of civilization - slavery. The story begins over four hundred years ago on the West Coast of Africa, and set into motion the harrowing chain of conflict, struggle, and hardship that was to bring the blues to life.

Slavery

The Blues Isn't just a style of music, it's an attitude of mind. The Blues tells the story of how an entire race of people overcame discrimination, cruelty, suffering and despire to survive. The Blues is about people, their loves, fears, and hardships. The Blues are sung with soul and passion, and often with a sense of humor. The music is it's own history and the soundtrack to the story of this country. Over four hundred years of history and a century of recordings have produced a style of music that has more followers today than ever before. The Blues is the native language of Black American, but is loved and recognized in every corner of the world.

Griot

This is what the Blues In The Schools is all about - keeping the history and legacy of this great American art form alive. What better place to do it than in the the classsrooms of this countries schools.  I think it is the single most important thing I do as a musician. I feel that I have an obligation to pass on the story and history of this music to the generations coming up so that it never dies. If the Blues dies a part of the American soul dies with it. We must never allow that to happen.

Diddley Bow