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Jazz & Java bringing Mardi Gras entertainment and food to Buckhannon in February

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – Celebrate Mardi Gras with Lady D’s performance of Bessie’s Blues and Chicago’s own Maggie Brown for an evening of live musical entertainment and New Orleans-style gumbo as West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts Jazz & Java on Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Colonial Arts Center on Main Street in downtown Buckhannon.

Lady D, Bessie’s Blues is a one-woman theatrical performance that is a direct spin-off of the original “Lady and the Empress” stage play. It is a great piece of history and entertainment combined and guaranteed to leave an audience wanting more. This blend of education and entertainment will give the audience a glimpse into what America was like for people of color during the 20s and 30s, especially musicians and performers. It highlights some of the colorful “slang” that was in use at that time and brings to life the bold, beautiful, and bawdy Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, in a masterclass on this country’s first purely American musical art form, the Blues.

Maggie Brown is an American singer, spoken word artist, and music producer. A native of Chicago, Illinois, United States, Brown sings in many genres: jazz, blues, R&B, soul, and spoken word. Her singing style has been described by James Walker as “transcend[ing] limitations and genres, while still maintaining her unique unmistakable voice.” She is a protege of Oscar Brown Jr. and Abbey Lincoln. She uses music to educate, what she calls “edutainment,” a word that she learned from her father. Brown gives talks and demonstrations on music and African American musical history.

Tickets are $35 for the general public and includes food and one drink. Wesleyan faculty, staff and students are $18. For more information and tickets, call 304-473-8163.

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