We are proud to announce the tour of great American blues artist Gaye Adegbalola, Blues Music Award winner (formerly called the W. C. Handy Award – the Grammy of the blues industry) with accompanist Roddy Barnes. The tour in Montenegro will be held from 10 to 14 of February 2014, under the auspices of the US Embassy, Podgorica. Monday, 10 February 2014 Podgorica, Vasa Pavic Art School for Music and Dance, workshop, 14:00 Podgorica, Montenegrin National Theater, concert performance, 20:00 Tuesday, 11 February, 2014 Berane, Center for Culture, concert performance, 19:00 Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 Kolasin, Music School, concert performance/workshop, 11:30 Thursday, 13 February, 2014 Podgorica, American Corner, presentation, The History of Women in Blues, 11:00 Bar, King Nikola’s Palace, concert performance, 19:00 Ms. Adegbalola is a founding member of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women; she composes, sings and plays acoustic, slide guitar and harmonica. She has recorded 10 CDs on Alligator Records and has toured widely throughout the U.S. and internationally. She has also released four CDs on her own Hot Toddy Music label: “Neo-Classic Blues” with Roddy Barnes, “Blues Gone Black” by Blue Mama Black Son (Gaye & her son Juno), “Gaye without Shame” and her Children’s Blues CD: “Blues in All Flavors.” Of note, Gaye and Roddy toured Ghana and Togo in West Africa in April, 2008. A former Virginia State Teacher of the Year, Gaye is also in demand for workshops, lectures and motivational public speaking. A longtime activist, she is presently involved with issues of diversity and is committed to the struggle for GLBT rights. In her repertoire with Roddy Barnes, Adegbalola invokes the spirit and addresses the lyrics & improvisational techniques of these classic blues women and brings history to life. Classically trained Mr Barnes can play any genre, but excels in the old fashion sound that is close to this music. Experience the dynamic and compelling performance of Adegbalola & Barnes as they conjure up another era and put on one hell of a show.

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As we are involved in the tour organization, we wanted to present her through a brief interview and invite you to follow us for the future details of her tour.

  • What program you would like to present to Montenegrin audience in February 2014?

The program will mainly be a style of blues called “Classic Blues”. It is basically from the ’20s and ’30s and was mainly sung by women. The history of working class black women of this era is often documented in blues lyrics. Aside from lyrical meanings, we will share varied blues forms

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(ragtime, 12 bar, 8 bar, New Orleans style, boogie-woogie, jazz, etc.). Since Black History Month in the U.S. is February, this presentation will be in keeping with this spirit. There will also be some newer songs and some songs covered by men and women, but even these will be kin to the Classic Blues tradition.

  • You are doing so many different things, like singing, playing guitar and harmonica, writing, teaching, you are motivational public speaker, as well. What is your vision and main goal in your work and your lifetime career?

I feel that I am very blessed to have found my dharma. I’ve come to define my life’s purpose as a contemporary griot. As such, I am keeping history alive, delivering messages of empowerment, ministering to the heartbroken, and finding joy in the mundane via a variety of channels. I have been blessed to make a living doing what I love — and that’s elusive for many folks. In fewer words, I guess my main goal is to spread joy.

  • Some music critics describe your performance as “hot as a New York cabaret”! What does it mean to you?

A cabaret refers to a nightclub or a restaurant where the audience eats and drinks while seated

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at small tables (as opposed to being seated like in a theatre). Because of the intimacy of the setting, there is no “wall” between the performer and the audience. While the audience members eat and drink, the performers often interact with them personally. New York, being our country’s largest, “never sleep,” brightest-lights city, would of course have the best cabarets — the most intimate with the wildest and sauciest shows. Often, the Gaye & Roddy act, in an intimate setting, can wear that label. When the “wall” is removed, I can move into the audience and kick the sizzle up a notch, with personal interactions. Roddy kicks up his playing to fan the flames. Pretty soon the audience is indeed part of the show and the freedom commences!