Conversations with Curtis: The Impact of Billie Holiday
October 5, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
This month, In preparation for the Billie Holiday JAZZ ROOM tribute, we speak with vocalist Melissa Morgan and Harlem Legend Bill Saxton about the amazing “Lady Day”, who changed the way jazz was sung.
Billie Holiday’s vocal style was inspired by the jazz instrument, pioneering a new direction in improvisation of phrasing and tempo. She used that same powerful voice as a statement on Civil Rights. For this she has been recognized in the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, and in books and TV.
Melissa Morgan, who considers Billie Holiday one of her main influences, will share with us what she has learned in reimagining this epic performer, and how Billie Holiday has shaped her jazz career.
Bill Saxton, owner of the venue where a teenage Billie Holiday got her start, will share anecdotes of Holiday’s legends and legacy that continues today. Bill’s Place, Harlem’s still-active speakeasy, got its start in the early years of Prohibition during the 1920’s. It was a lawless era of gangsters and illegal drinking in small underground parlors of private houses uptown. If only those walls could talk…
Tune in to the monthly Conversation with Curtis series to discover outstanding musicians, past and present, regional and international. Our interactive events are a chance for you to engage with the artists who are usually up on the stage. These conversations are led by jazz expert, JAZZ ROOM MC, and CurtJazz radio host Curtis Davenport.
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