Barbara Dane’s 85th Birthday ConcertPurchase tickets online
May 13 8:00 pm
Barbara Dane is a true institution in the universe of jazz, blues, and folk music. After graduating high school in Detroit, she raised her strong voice regularly at demonstrations for racial equality and economic justice as well as sitting in with local bands. Barbara first come to wide public attention performing with the likes of Jack Teagarden, Louis Armstrong, Memphis Slim, and Muddy Waters in the late 1950s and early '60s, when jazz critic Leonard Feather described her as "Bessie Smith in stereo" and Time magazine said she had "a voice as pure, rich, and rare as a 20 karat diamond." She toured nationally and appeared on television, including a solo guest turn on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.
All the while, Barbara never wavered in her commitment to work in the movements for peace and justice, taking her songs to gatherings of people everywhere from the Mississippi Freedom Schools to the GI movement against the Vietnam War, to the first Women's Music festival, a clandestine tour in Spain still under Franco, and to Cuba as the first U.S. singer to tour there after the revolution. Barbara puts it all in perspective when she talks about the roots of her music and activism: "(These songs) born out of the worst conditions one people can force upon another, out of slavery and exploitation, were given to the world in the spirit of turning madness into sanity, pain into joy, bondage into freedom, and enmity into unity. This spirit is something to be learned from, shared, and spread as far as it will go!"
Join Barbara tonight as she celebrates her 85th birthday with a memorable performance ranging through her lifetime of work dedicated to a belief in the power of music to move individuals and to help change society.
Listen to a track from Barbara Dane:
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