Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation

Michigan Theater
603 E. Liberty Street,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Ragtime rhythms, a unique finger-picking guitar style, and understated vocals are the hallmarks of the folk music style found in the Piedmont region, the area between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains covering central Georgia to central Virginia. Jazz pianist and composer Gerald Clayton (who also holds down the piano chair in the Charles Lloyd Quartet) has captured the essence of this celebrated land, home to a unique culture and rapidly vanishing folkloric history, and preserved it in a multimedia project. This music-theater experience features a nine-piece band led by Clayton and combines music with projected film, new and archival photography, and the stories of those few musical elders who are still keeping the tradition alive. It testifies to the struggles endured by African Americans in the Southeast during Jim Crow and chronicles the efficacy of the Piedmont Blues as a salve for suffering.
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