Ma Bessie and Her Blues Troupe
Nicknamed the â€œEmpress of the Bluesâ€, Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Â She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on other jazz singers. Â Ma Bessie and her Blues Troupe perform to a narrated show, featuring music from the era and showcasing many of Bessie’s songs. Â 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)