Celebrating the life of Bessie Smith "Empress of the Blues"
Bessie Smith (Julia Titus) and her Blues Troupe perform to a narrated show, featuring music from the era and showcasing many of Bessie's songs. The production chronicles her life from a one-room shack in Blue Goose Hollow, through to becoming the highest-paid black entertainer of that time, to the tragic accident on Route 61 in September 1937 which resulted in her untimely death aged 43 years.
Ma Bessie and her Blues Troupe have been on the road since September 2017. They have played at arts centres/theatres up and down the country including London's premier jazz venue "The Hideaway", Wilde Theatre in Bracknell, The Acorn Theatre in Penzance, The Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead. There are many bookings in for 2019: The Concorde Club in Eastleigh, Marlow Jazz Club, Plough Arts Centre in Great Torrington, Astor Theatre in Deal, Liverpool Philharmonic and Festival appearances at Port Eliot Festival as well as The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival 2019 in Colne.
Julia Titus – Ma Bessie Vocals
Paul Jobson – MD/Piano/Keys
Richard Sadler – Upright Bass
Tony Qunta – Acoustic Guitar
Clare Hirst – Clarinet
Claude Deppa – Trumpet
Andy Wilkins – Drums
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