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Memphis Minnie: In Search of the Hoodoo Lady
New York Guitar Festival kicks off its 20th anniversary celebration with a tribute to blues legend Memphis Minnie. Arts Brookfield is thrilled to once again partner with New York Guitar Festival to present a free, outdoor concert at Brookfield Place celebrating the life and music of this influential blues guitarist.
The concert will feature an array of diverse musicians across genres, including Rafiq Bhatia, Kaia Kater, Jontavious Willis, Brandon Ross, Amythyst Kiah, Brandee Younger, Nicole Atkins, Binky Griptite, Alsarah and the Nubatones, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Banning Eyre, and GRAMMY Award-winners Vernon Reid and Fantastic Negrito.
A supremely influential and pioneering blues guitarist, Memphis Minnie was one of the first blues artists to go electric in 1942, and isconsidered a crucial link connecting acoustic Delta blues with the electrified Chicago sound. Chuck Berry, Big Mama Thornton, and Muddy Waters have acknowledged Minnie’s influence. Bonnie Raitt called her “one of American musical history’s most vibrant and pioneering artists.” Minnie’s musical influence has been wide-reaching. Her song When The Levee Breaks was redone in 1971 by none other than Led Zeppelin. That version of the song has now been sampled more than 100 times, by artists including by Dr. Dre, Beyonce, and Eminem. Minnie’s guitar work is a relentless, rolling wall of sound; her vocals sly yet forceful.
For twenty years, the New York Guitar Festival has celebrated some of the world’s greatest musicians—whether you know them or not—and explored virtually every aspect of the guitar’s personality. The festival has also shone a light on some of the women who’ve shaped the history and the sound of blues, jazz and rock.
Additional NYGF anniversary events at various venues will be announced throughout the year. Visit newyorkguitarfestival.org for more information.