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Bessie Smith Marathon
September 21 @ 10:00 am - 8:00 pmFree
The Worcester Hot Club will play every recording made by influential early blues singer Bessie Smith (circa 1894–1937), in WCUW’s FRONT ROOM performance space.
While most of the recordings will be played back through conventional equipment, some original 78-RPM records will be played on period hardware. Between songs, topics such as details about her life and career, the role of the blues in Jazz Age culture, the relationship of Smith’s music to and recording industry norms, will be addressed. Although Ms. Smith is a cornerstone figure in vernacular music, we have largely lost touch not only with her importance but also with the power of her musical delivery. Rectify that by attending all or part of the Marathon.
An original portrait of Bessie Smith, painted by Blackstone Valley Art Association Member Laura O. Cenedella, will be awarded to one lucky visitor as a door prize. The winner need not be present to win.
In addition, a film program will run continuously from noon through 6 pm in a community room across the street from WCUW. Movies will include the only Bessie Smith performance caught on film, performances by her contemporaries, and related modern takes.
The Bessie Smith Marathon is free and open to all. Parking is available in the Clark University Commuter Parking lot across the street from WCUW, and on the street.