By Michelle Brown
DELRAY BEACH, FL –The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, in collaboration with Arts Garage, will welcome Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen and Dr. Joan Cartwright to hold a special concert and “Talk Back” session, as the focus of the 2021 Juneteenth Celebration.
A popular performer at the 2017 Spady Living Heritage Festival, Cohen returns to Delray Beach, thanks to a Traditional Arts Touring Grant from South Arts. She will perform a full-length concert, as part of the official celebration, at 8 p.m. at Arts Garage, 94 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. The concert will be followed by a “Talk Back” session with Dr. Cartwright about women and music.
Cohen and Dr. Cartwright will also conduct a two-day residency that will take place at different locations throughout the city, giving invited guests opportunities to enjoy Cohen’s engaging vocals. The hosting scholar, Dr. Cartwright will lead discussions about the history of blues and jazz in traditional celebrations, as well as the history of women in blues, alongside Cohen.
“When Mother Blues visited us the first time, we fell in love with her energy and personality on the stage. She is a true blues singer, telling stories through lyric and song, of pain, perseverance, struggle, passion and joy,” said Museum Director Charlene Farrington. “Juneteenth is a great occasion to celebrate having her back with us.”
Juneteenth, held every June 19, is a cultural commemoration, recognizing a special date in American and Florida history – the end of slavery in the United States.
“Arts Garage celebrates diversity in every aspect of the organization from our staff to our programming. Our collaboration with the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum always results in amazing programming ,and this event is a perfect example. We couldn’t be more excited to showcase Pat ‘Mother Blues’ Cohen on our stage this year,” said Marjorie Waldo, M.Ed., president & CEO of the Arts Garage.
Since the age of six, Cohen was surrounded by music, played, and sung by family members. Her first professional engagement came while she was in college, when she sung at a local club.
“They loved me, and the rest is history because I’ve been singing the Blues ever since,” Cohen said. For years, she sang in New Orleans venues, including the House of Blues, until Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home and she relocated to North Carolina.
Dr. Cartwright, a veteran of jazz and blues for 40-plus years, is a retired vocalist, composer, and author, who has toured and taught in 22 countries. Her titles include Blues Women: First Civil Rights Workers, Amazing Musicwomen, So You Want To Be A Singer? and A History of African American Jazz and Blues with interviews with Quincy Jones, Dewey Redman, Lester Bowie, and other noted Jazz musicians and aficionados. In 2007, Dr. Cartwright founded Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc., a non-profit organization promoting women musicians globally. She hosts an Internet radio show, MUSICWOMAN, featuring women who compose and perform their own music. Dr. Cartwright has two personal CDs – Feelin’ Good and In Pursuit of a Melody.