Published on May 10th, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Memphis Minnie: In Search of the Hoodoo Lady
The New York Guitar Festival and Arts Brookfield will present “Memphis Minnie: In Search of the Hoodoo Lady,” a free, outdoor concert celebrating the life and music of influential blues guitarist Memphis Minnie. The Saturday, June 1st, 7pm event will be held at Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza in lower Manhattan.
Today, NYGF is excited to reveal additional artists to the previously announced line-up. Joining the bill is multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter David Bromberg, an eclectic, Grammy-nominated artist who has performed and recorded with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, and Widespread Panic. Additionally, NYGF welcomes DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, an electronic and experimental hip-hop musician whose work is often called by critics “illbient” or “trip-hop.” Kevin Breit, the Canadian guitarist known for his work with Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Celine Dion and Rosanne Cash, and has performed on recordings that have earned 13 Grammy Awards, will make his New York Guitar Festival return on June 1st, as well.
New York Guitar Festival previously revealed an impressive line-up of musicians across an array of genres, including: Rafiq Bhatia, Rachael & Vilray (featuring Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive), Nicole Atkins, Binky Griptite, Kaia Kater, Jontavious Willis, Brandon Ross, Amythyst Kiah, Alsarah and the Nubatones, Brandee Younger, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Banning Eyre, and Grammy Award-winners Alvin Youngblood Hart, 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 is considered 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.”
Host of WNYC’s Soundcheck and NYGF co-founder John Schaefer had this to say: “Want just one example of Minnie’s influence? Her song ‘When The Levee Breaks’ was redone in 1971 by a quartet of English lads calling themselves Led Zeppelin. And that version of the song has now been sampled more than 100 times, including by Dr. Dre, Beyonce, and Eminem.”
“Memphis Minnie is one of those pivotal figures in history whose contributions should be labeled an “intangible heritage” by the United Nations. Her playing set the tone for somany issues like a sculpture giving us a new vision of how sound shapes society. She scored a new way of thinking about how African American culture shaped so many things. We still are catching up to her music.” — Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
“Memphis Minnie was a great guitarist, as well as a great singer, songwriter, & fighter. Most of her peers knew enough not to compete with her in any of these categories. She had a very long career & was a boss & a badass. She recorded hundreds of songs, mostly personal. Her songs have been recorded by The Jefferson Airplane, Maria Muldaur & Led Zeppelin.” — David Bromberg
About the New York Guitar Festival:
Exploring virtually every aspect of the guitar’s personality, the New York Guitar Festival, since 1999, has presented many of the world’s most influential guitarists at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, (Le) Poisson Rouge, 92nd Street Y, Brookfield Place Winter Garden and other iconic venues, large and small. From multi Grammy-winners to emerging artists, NYGF performers have included masters of the classical repertoire (Pepe Romero, Christopher Parkening, Ana Vidović, Nigel North) as well as blues & jazz (Taj Mahal, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bill Frisell, Sonny Landreth), pop & indie rock (Vernon Reid, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Iver, Andy Summers, Thurston Moore), and folk & Americana (Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Cindy Cashdollar, Leo Kottke) as well as sounds of Central & South America (Badi Assad, Yamandu Costa, Vinicius Cantuária) and genre-defying innovators (Kaki King, David Torn, Daniel Lanois, Bryce Dessner).
Festival highlights have included multi-genre tributes to the musical legacies and cultural impact of iconic rock musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, George Harrison, and Jerry Garcia), experimentalists (Brian Eno, John Fahey, and Michael Hedges), blues and jazz legends (Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Reverend Gary Davis, and Django Reinhardt), and pioneering women artists (Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Elizabeth Cotten). Additionally, the NYGF has presented day-long marathon concerts exploring J.S. Bach, the raga tradition of South Asia, and in-depth explorations of the music of Spain, Italy, and Brazil.
A champion of new artists and nascent work, the Festival has commissioned multi-media works and scores to classic client films by artists including Bryce Dessner, Bon Iver, Daniel Lanois, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, David Bromberg, and Kaki King.
Building on the festival’s success in New York, it has collaborated on the creation of partner festivals in Urbana, Illinois, Amsterdam, Adelaide and Toronto.
Additional 20th Anniversary New York Guitar Festival events will be announced soon. Stay up to date at www.newyorkguitarfestival.com
Saturday, June 1st, 2019
Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza, NYC
7 PM | Free