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"Blues Evolution"

Out of Africa came humanity and out of Africa also came the music of humanity - The Blues.  Just as humanity evolved into different versions of hominids, the blues has also evolved into work songs, gospel, the delta blues, peidmont blues, zydeco, Chicago blues, do wop, R & B, rock & roll, folk blues, jazz, funk,  and currently rapp. With the advent of the world music sound we see the blues has seeped into most of the world music genre. Reggae, Soka etc.. most musicologist now call this phenomena fusion. Yes, the blues has evolved, or in the current lexicon, "The blues has come a long way." 

This site, with a number of it's supporters will try to highlight this phenomena. We are currently working on an infotainment series that will highlight the path the blues has taken, along with the musical sounds of it's offspring. We are looking to produce a trio of artistic events that will include a CD/Download/stream of the music. Then we would like to put together a touring stage event of the same thing and finally we want to put this soon to be masterpiece in every library across the country and then some. 

This production is about a year behind schedule due to the pandemic. But if politicians are to be believed we should be ready to be normal in about another half a year. If so we can begin the production. 

A brief synopsis: Following the standard narrative we start with pre-slavery Africa and the number of music styles in Africa. We take a little from the four corners of Africa, north, south, east and west. We would also like to present the different dance styles that accompanied the music.

Suddenly we hear the drums of war approaching. Religious wars, wars for territories and the wars for slaves. We would like to highlight at this point the music of Europe around that same period. This is what will help facilitate the change of the African music dynamic. Now we will see the transformation of "African" music into African-American music. Once the arrival of slaves hit America, primarily South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The music here still maintains an African flavor primarily because the  Africans can still play drums. But once we hit north America the drums are outlawed in most of the colonies controlled by the British and European music is introduced along with most European instruments and tonalities.

Most musicologist will tell you that the minor scale tonalities popular in most of the old world-Africa, Asia-begin to clash with the major scale tonalities popular in the developing European music styles-excepts for Spain and Portugal, more on this later.

The struggle between the major mode and the minor mode led to a type  of musical compromise, the results was the, "blue note."  Now we have African music transforming into African almost American (Africans were not American citizens at this point) and thanks to the Civil War and a little constitutional hanky panky Africans become American citizens-at least in theory. Now the music will become Afro-American music. Or as one great white father would put it, "race music."

Prior to the slave trade the dominant instrument in African and middle eastern music was the drum and they came in a multitude of forms. The drum was the weapon of choice, but in areas dominated by the British the drum was outlawed and Africans were encouraged to play instruments like the harmonica, the violin and it's relatives, flutes and-as if you didn't know-the guitar. Music will never be the same.

In areas under the control of the French, Africans played pretty much all instruments, drums, piano, saxophone, trumpet, you name it they played it. And as the blue note migrated from the British controlled territories to the French controlled territories the blue note begin to posses these instruments and new music was, born??? This new music we call, Jazz-named after yours truly. But as the great white father will tell you it's still race music. Moving on.

The standard model states that the Blues as an art form begins to cross the Mississippi River into Texas and Mexico. About the same time the blue note begins to travel south and north on the Mississippi, Eventually ending up in areas like Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas Cities, New York, 

Once the blue note is in all of these neighborhoods it began to leave it's mark. We now begin to have new forms of race music in all of these neighborhoods and it begin to have an appeal to white Americans who previously could not enjoy the blues. Even though the blues was being recorded, the recorded blues music was sent to whites in Europe, eventually coming back to America with the British invasion.  World wars I and II saw even greater penetration of the blue note into the music of the world.

A number of other factors expedited the flow of the blues to new areas. The invention of the automobile. Leading to the the great northern migration. The Korean War, The War in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. The Fall of the Berlin Wall,  The Invasion of Iraq I, The Invasion of Iraq II, The Invasion of Afghanistan,  Nato. By this time the blues had morphed into the various music forms that we know and love today. Mississippi Delta Blues, Texas Blues (Tex-Mex), Spiritual, Gospel, Jazz, Fusion Jazz, World Music, Do Wop, R & B, Soul, Funk, Rock & Roll, Plain Rock. The blues turned south and left America to influence the following music forms. Reggae, Soka, Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova. The blues went underground and made various appearances in the Soviet Bloc. In these areas the blues and it's derivative forms were outlawed. But we had underground blues in areas like Poland, Czechoslovakia , I have even met a bluesman from Azerbaijan. The blues has even made it back to the area from whence it came, Africa. The latest of the blues offspring that's changing the face of the planet is rapp music. Where does the blues go after this? Who knows. 

All of this information pertaining to the blues and it's derivative is not being taught anywhere in an organized fashion. But the plan we have in mind is to put all of this information is an entertaining format. Showcasing the movement of the blues from African music and dance up to the current rapp music and dance. In addition to theatrical performances we see this music and dance put into the digital format and streamed on various platforms and in other digital formats, CDs, thumb drives and digital downloads. 

The PBS production called, "Jazz." is similar to the type of production we envision. The main difference is, in addition to a broadcast quality production, we see a live performance that can go across the country and eventually around the globe. Incidentally, Jazz is one of the first of the blues derivatives.

As it was stated previously this production is about a year behind schedule thanks to the pandemic. With the new vaccines available and the new political situation we are looking at beginning pre-production in about August and be ready to start shooting and performing during African American History Month. 

We had a number of agreements with various productions assistants, African dancers & drummers, blues & jazz musicians, light and sound crew, a few handshake agreements with a lot of artist that would have been firmed up. But due to the pandemic most of the venues had to close and people we told to stay put, social distance and wear masks. So consequently these agreements will have to be renegotiated and deposits put down. This is where you and other far sighted individuals who realize that this concept can grow legs and walk and eventually run.  Interested parties can use the form to the right and be kept abridge of the developments. And as soon as it is medically possible we will have a pre-production conference to move this thing ahead. Keep your eye on this space. 

 We would like to thank our supporters for contributing to the "Blues Evolution".

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African Kori Player

I have had the opportunity to hear a Kori Player.  If you listen closely you can hear tints of the blues. It is as if someone is playing blues on a type of harp.

We are planning to have a Kori player as part of Blues Evolution

Riley B. King aka B. B. King

One of the Kings of the Blues.

The other Kings of the Blues are Albert King & Freddy King, all guitar players.


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