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The original item was published from 9/1/2020 3:35:00 PM to 9/3/2020 3:42:11 PM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: August 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Gaye Adegbalola: Songs from the Griot - Virtual Event, Wednesday, September 16, 7 pm

Square Gaye Adegbalola Press Photo HIREZ

Virtual Front Porch Music Series
Gaye Adegbalola - Songs from the Griot:
Using Traditional Blues to Tell Contemporary Stories
Facebook Live - Wednesday, September 16, 7-8 pm

A griot is a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.  Gaye Adegbalola sees herself as a present day griot who maintains black history using the blues as her art form for storytelling. Gaye says, “The blues is about that which gives you trouble.”  So she presents topical blues for topical times!

In the early ‘70’s, Gaye Adegbalola began her teaching career. She was an educator in the Fredericksburg City Public School system for 18 years and was honored as Virginia State Teacher of the Year in 1982. Throughout her teaching career, she directed Harambee 360 Experimental Theater. She creatively used performance as a tool to assist black youth in gaining confidence as they struggled with identity issues during the spread of “integration.” 

Gaye Adegbalola has a Master’s degree in Educational Media, with a concentration in photography, from Virginia State University. 

During her teaching career, Gaye Adegbalola moonlighted as a musician. By maintain the blues legacy, she now sees herself as a contemporary griot or storyteller, keeping the history alive, delivering messages of empowerment, ministering to the heartbroken and finding joy in the mundane. As a founding member of Saffire- the Uppity Blues Women, she became a full-time performer. 

Gaye Adegbalola has toured internationally and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Blues Music Award as well as numerous nominations. In 2011 Gaye was named an OUTstanding Virginian for championing GLBT equality. In 2012, she received the Parent’s Choice Gold Award for Music for her children’s CD, “Blues in All Flavors.” As of 2018, Gaye Adegbalola has 17 CD’s in national distribution, including 5 on her own label, Hot Toddy Music.  

Gaye Adegbalola is a composer, singer, songwriter and a player of both acoustic and slide guitar as well as harmonica. 

After the event airs live, it can be found under the museum’s Facebook Videos tab, and later the video will be added to the museum’s YouTube playlist.

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