Blues In Our Blood:
The Artistic Evolution of
Taj Mahal and Carole Fredericks
Blues In Our Blood: The Artistic Evolution of Taj Mahal and Carole Fredericks explores a family with rich cultural roots in the Carolinas and West Indies who then settled and thrived in mid 20th century Springfield, Massachusetts.
The exhibition focuses on the Fredericks family, longtime residents of Springfield and portrays how marriage and death played a crucial role in the expansion of this nuclear family to include the Williams’ and Baisden’s, two other local families.
Two very famous family members are featured in separate exhibit rooms: Henry St. Clair Fredericks, better known as GRAMMY Award winning blues musician, Taj Mahal and his sister, the late African-American chanteuse, Carole Fredericks.
In 2006, Governor Mitt Romney declares Taj Mahal the ‘Official Blues Musician of the Commonwealth’ and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst bestowed on Taj an ‘Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree’.
Carole, who became an extraordinarily successful pop singer in France and Africa, recorded J’ai le sang blues… I Have Blues in My Blood, written by Jacques Veneruso in 1999 for her second solo album, Couleurs et parfums.
This song, the inspiration for the exhibition title, speaks to the irrepressible force that resides within the human spirit to fulfill its destiny.
The title reflects brilliantly the powerful force within each of us to express our authenticity in the world regardless of race, gender, class, language or culture.
Through a treasure trove of photographs, film footage and related print documents we see the era, social conditions and family changes that produced an impressive collection of musicians, artists, writers, teachers and entrepreneurs.
Who: Blues In Our Blood: The Artistic Evolution of Taj Mahal and Carole Fredericks
What: The multi-media exhibition explores an African-American family in mid 20th century Western Massachusetts to shed light on the forces that shaped the international music careers of Taj Mahal and his sister Carole Fredericks
When: February 15 through November 9, 2008
Where: The Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Contact: Visit www.springfieldmuseums.org or call 1-800-625-7738
Blues in Our Blood is sponsored in part by Unity First News and Rugged Intellectual Marketing Guides.