Ma Bessie and Her Blues Troupe
Nicknamed the “Empress of the Blues”, Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on other jazz singers. Ma Bessie and her Blues Troupe perform to a narrated show, featuring music from the era and showcasing many of Bessie’s songs. The show chronicles her life from a one-room shack in Blue Goose Hollow, to becoming the highest-paid black entertainer of that time, to the tragic accident on Route 61 in September 1937 that ended her life aged 43 years.
Band members: JULIA TITUS (vocals), SAM KELLY (drums), DOM BARNETT (MD/piano), TONY QUNTA (acoustic guitar), ANDY HODGE (double bass), CLARE HIRST (sax/clarinet), CLAUDE DEPPA/KEVIN DAVY (trumpet), ANDY WILKIN (narration)