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Saffire The Uppity Blues Women

Gaye Adegbalola (Ah-deg-bah-lo-la)

(Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals)
Gaye Todd Adegbalola was born, raised and still lives in Fredericksburg, VA. She is a mother of son, Juno Lumumba; only child of Clarence (deceased) and Gladys (presently 94 years old); and, longtime partner of Suzanne Moe (producer of the Barb & Tibby film "A Love Story in the Face of Hate"). She received a B.A. in biology from Boston University and a Masters of Education from Virginia State University. She was a biochemical researcher and a bacteriologist before becoming an educator with Fredericksburg Public Schools. She was honored as Virginia State Teacher of the Year in 1982.

Now a full time musician, she co-founded Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women, plays guitar, harmonica and is a composer. Adegbalola has recorded ten CDs on Alligator Records (9 with Saffire and 1 solo, "Bittersweet Blues") and has toured widely throughout the U.S. and internationally. In 1990, she received the prestigious Blues Music Award (formerly the W. C. Handy Award) for Blues Song of the Year. She has released three CDs on her own label, Hot Toddy Music: "Neo-Classic Blues" with Roddy Barnes, "Blues Gone Black" by Blue Mama Black Son (Gaye & her son, Juno), and "Gaye Without Shame." For the work on "Gaye Without Shame, " Gaye received a Blues Music Award nomination as Contemporary Female Blues Artist in 2009. For 2010, as a member of Saffire, Gaye has received another nomination.

Gaye has been an activist all her life. She participated in the Civil Rights Movement -- sitting in and picketing against segregation in her hometown. Disenchanted, she joined in the Black Power Movement. For many years, she was a director with Harambee 360 Experimental Theatre -- focusing on empowering black youth with confidence through the performing arts. She has battled oppression as a black person, a black woman, a single parent, a lesbian, a poor person. She is a voice for oppressed people worldwide. (For a clearer idea of her mission, visit the 
"Writings" page
 on her website.) She is often in demand for motivational public speaking and conducts a variety of workshops and seminars. December, 2009 

Gaye's web site: www.adegbalola.com

Ann Rabson

Ann Rabson

(Piano, Guitar, Vocals, Kazoo)
Ann Rabson was born in New York City and raised in the Midwest. She was born into a musical family which now includes violinist sister Mimi Rabson, pianist brother Steve Rabson, bassist nephew Kenji Rabson, multi-instrumentalist daughter Liz Schnore and nine-year-old drummer granddaughter Georgia Rabson Schnore.

She was first touched by the blues at age four when she heard Big Bill Broonzy on the radio. Ann says, "His music spoke to me; my world went from black-and-white to color." Little did Ann know that that three-minute experience would lay the foundation for her adult life. Now in her fourth decade as an internationally acclaimed songwriter, recording artist and performer, Ann creates music that speaks to and entertains people all over the world.

Ann still plays the first instrument she touched as a child--a guitar found in her father's attic. Attracted to the Piedmont style of guitar picking, Ann created a unique and ear-catching sound all her own.

At age thirty-five, Ann decided to learn the piano. Now honored as a member of the Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame. Ann brings the historic blues, Boogie-woogie, and barrel house styles front and center. She has been honored to play piano with such artists as Jimmy Rogers, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Hubert Sumlin, Bob Margolin, Francine Reed, Carrie Bell, Cephas and Wiggins, Johnny Shines, Levon Helm John Jackson, and Snooky Prior. Downbeat magazine says, "Ann plays with staggering authority."

Ann has been honored by the music industry with multiple Blues Music (formerly W.C. Handy) Award nominations for Traditional Female Blues Artist of the Year, and nominations for Song of the Year for "Elevator Man" and Traditional Album of the Year for "Music Makin' Mama." Her solo recordings also include "Struttin' My Stuff" and "In A Family Way." Ann also appears on nine recordings as a member of Saffire and has appeared as a side musician on recordings for a number of artists including Cephas and Wiggins, Pinetop Perkins, Deb Coleman, Steve James, Madcat and Kane, and Ani De Franco.

Ann has been participating in arts-in-education programs since the late 1990s. She has presented her programs on blues to students in grades K through 12 in schools in New York City, Ottawa, New Brunswick, New York state, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, Louisiana and Illinois. She wrote a feature article on blues in the schools for Blues Revue magazine.

Ann has taught workshops for blues societies, as well as at Augusta Heritage Center's Blues Week in West Virginia, the Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in Ohio, the Summer Acoustic Music Workshops in New Hampshire, and the Port Townsend Centrum workshops in Washington state.

Ann maintains an active touring schedule in the U.S., Canada and overseas. She performs solo, with Saffire and with her own band, Ann and the Annimators.
 

Ann's web site: www.annrabson.com

Andra Faye

Andra Faye

(Fiddle, Mandolin, Acoustic Bass, Guitar, Vocals)
Andra hails from Indianapolis, where she pursued a career as a registered nurse. She's been playing music since the sixth grade, performing in a variety of eclectic local bands on guitar, violin and mandolin. She was influenced early on by Howard Armstrong and fellow Hoosier Yank Rachel. When Ann and Gaye called on Andra to sit in on the BROADCASTING sessions, she was shocked. "I was very nervous," Andra recalls. "I kept suggesting other musicians." Not only did she assist in the recording sessions, she joined the band as a full member in 1992 and in a short amount of time she became a remarkably proficient bass player.

Andra's web site: www.andrafaye.com