Nobody can tell you how the blues feel unless they have the blues. We all take it differently.

- Otis Rush

Maggie BrownChicago singer and educator Maggie Brown will be the MVBS Blues in the Schools artist-in residence in Quad City area schools during the week of November 26-30. She will also appear at four open-to-the-public performances:

  • Monday Nov. 26, 6:30 p.m. - Davenport Public Library Eastern Ave. Branch, 6000 Eastern Ave., Davenport
  • Wednesday Nov. 28, 10:00 a.m. - CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport
  • Thursday Nov. 29, 7:00 p.m. - River Music Experience Cafe, 2nd and Main, Davenport
  • Friday Nov. 30 6:00 p.m. - Bucktown Center for the Arts, Studio 56 at suite 201-B, 225 E. 2nd Street, Davenport

The MVBS Education Committee was introduced to Maggie Brown originally when Nate Lawrence brought her to Davenport for the Polyrhythms Third Sunday Jazz program 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.

Maggie Brown is a tremendously talented singer and performer using her gift to not only entertain, but educate as well. Maggie is the daughter of the late Oscar Brown, Jr. a world renowned composer, social activist, and legendary 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. For 20 years, Maggie 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, Maggie 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. Maggie describes what she does as "edutainment." She calls on all of 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.

Maggie is called upon by various arts organizations and schools to serve as artist-in-residence. Maggie enjoys using those classroom opportunities to engage young minds with poetry and songs that help them recognize and hopefully value their place in the world. Tracing the history of African-American creativity, Maggie examines the roots of black musical culture and its greatest flowerings, from African chant to early ragtime, from blues to jazz.

Major funding for Maggie Brown's Blues in the Schools residency comes from the Riverboat Development Authority. Thanks also to our sponsors The Iowa Arts Council, The Moline Foundation, Alcoa, The Lodge, and KALA radio.

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