Program Details

Women Sing the Blues Due to unforseen circumstances, Rod MacDonald will be presenting this program.

Robert Wyatt
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Although blues music was sung as an oral tradition by enslaved people on Southern plantations, classic female blues emerged early in the 20th century as a mixture of traditional folk blues and urban theater music. Dazzling pioneers like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, and Mamie Smith catapulted the vocal form onto the world stage. With new technologies in sound recording coupled with the advent of national radio broadcasts, blues singers Ethel Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday took blues to the next level. And the list goes on and on. Wyatt will trace the growth of the blues as one of America’s most popular forms of jazz using audio and visual clips from the 1920s to the present. The music is glorious. Due to unforseen circumstances, Rod MacDonald will be presenting this program.

About the Instructor

  • Steinway artist, Robert Wyatt has performed throughout the United States and internationally. Featured on NPR and PBS broadcasts, Wyatt has also performed at the Kennedy Center, The Phillips Collection, the Library of Congress, Steinway Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York, and Boston’s Jordan Hall and the Museum of Fine Arts. He has been a lecture/recitalist for the Smithsonian Institution for thirty years and as a Smithsonian Scholar, Wyatt has presented musical programs under the sponsorship of the Ford Foundation. His book, "The George Gershwin Reader," was published by Oxford University Press in 2004.