Series Hits the High Notes of African-American Music

By Gormly, Kellie B | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

Series Hits the High Notes of African-American Music


Gormly, Kellie B, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Delta Blue, a local band that celebrates African-American music and dancing, will be kicking off a new family concert series with an outdoor show in Oakland on Saturday.

The five-man band, named after the Mississippi Delta region, will perform its old-style guitar blues, Dixieland jazz, classic rock and roll, James Brown songs, and more. Band members will invite the children and parents in the audience to join them in the singing and dancing, says band leader Stacy Gray. Band members will tell the story of how this form of music developed in the South decades ago.

"Our program is not only entertaining, but it's educational as well," says Gray, of North Versailles. He used to teach the history of African-American music at the University of Pittsburgh. "It's like getting an American pop culture lesson. It's highly entertaining; it really is."

The Delta Blue show is the first in the three-part Family Performance Series, presented by Gateway to the Arts, an East Liberty-based organization that promotes the performing arts in education. Gateway already does regular shows in Pittsburgh-area schools for the children, but the parents don't get to see those shows, says Carly V. McCoy, marketing and development manager. The Family Performance Series lets parents and kids enjoy the shows together, and helps parents realize the value of arts in education, she says. …

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