Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2012, 4:40 pm

Blues singer Maggie Brown to spend week in Q-C

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By Jonathan Turner,

Chicago blues singer Maggie Brown
Chicago singer and educator Maggie Brown will be the Mississippi Valley Blues Society "Blues in the Schools" artist-in residence in area schools next week.

The MVBS Education Committee was introduced to Ms. Brown when Nate Lawrence brought her to Davenport for the Polyrhythms Third Sunday Jazz program two years ago at the River Music Experience.

"We were so impressed with her performance that we asked Maggie to come back to conduct three days of workshops for kids the week of the 2012 BluesFest, and then to bring those kids and her talent to BlueSKool at the festival," said Karen McFarland of MVBS.

"Maggie Brown is a tremendously talented singer and performer using her gift to not only entertain, but educate as well," she said. Ms. Brown is the daughter of the late Oscar Brown Jr., a world-renowned composer, social activist and giant of the jazz music scene. Mr. Brown passed on his artistic integrity to his daughter "who now uses her own voice to create images that excite and inspire," Ms. McFarland said.

For 20 years, Ms. Brown has nationally toured her one-woman show, "LEGACY: Our Wealth of Music," which follows the history and evolution of African-American music and covers a wide range of musical forms.

Mother of three young boys, she sees the need to work through the arts to make an impact on young lives. Her message fosters care and respect for words, music, history and life, and Ms. Brown describes what she does as "edutainment." She calls on all her talents to demonstrate how black people courageously and virtuously responded to the horrors of slavery, segregation and disenfranchisement by creating inspiring and thriving art forms which have become part of our American cultural heritage, Ms. McFarland said.

Ms. Brown has been called upon by many arts organizations and schools to serve as artist-in-residence. Tracing the history of African-American creativity, she examines the roots of black musical culture and its flowerings, from African chant to early ragtime, from blues to jazz.

Ms. Brown will perform four times for the general public (free admission) during the week:

Monday Nov. 26, 6:30 p.m.: Davenport Public Library Eastern Avenue Branch, 6000 Eastern Ave., Davenport.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 10 a.m.: Center for Active Seniors Inc., 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport.
Thursday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m.: River Music Experience Cafe , 2nd and Main streets, Davenport.
Friday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m.: Bucktown Center for the Arts, Studio 56, 225 E. 2nd St., Davenport.