Jan 1, 2022
Gaye Adegbalola Centers Blues Herstory and Music as a Griot and Activist
This interview was recorded via video conference on October 29, 2021 by Angela Denise Davis. Gaye Adegbalola talked about her early years in Virginia, college life in Boston, and her career as a Blues musician, griot, and activist.
Gaye Adegbalola’s website:
Gaye Todd Adegbalola, a Blues Music Award winner, is best known musically as a founding member of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women (1984 – 2009). The group recorded exclusively with Alligator Records. Additionally, she has 6 recordings on her own label, Hot Toddy Music (Todd is her family name).
Gaye was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia where she sat-in, picketed and protested its racism. She graduated as valedictorian of the then-segregated Walker-Grant High School, went “ up North” to Boston University to finish with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked as a technical writer for TRW Systems, a biochemical researcher at Rockefeller University, and a bacteriologist at Harlem Hospital. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Media (with a concentration in photography) from Virginia State University.