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Blues at the Festival: A Community Music with Global Impact

At the very first Smithsonian Folklife Festival back in 1967, you would have heard performers similar to the artists in this program. Grassroots singers and instrumentalists from the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands, New Orleans French Quarter, New York City, and the Mississippi Delta offered the oldest songs they knew, then described in music and words their creative innovations. They explained how their music coordinated work, praised and lifted the spirit, danced out joy or sorrow, and helped them struggle for change.

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