Rory Block (#917)

A four-time W.C. Handy Award winner rocks the Jubilee stage.


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Jubilee

Rory Block—“one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists,” according to Blues Revue—hits the Jubilee stage with a performance taped at the 2003 W.C. Handy Blues Festival. The program also includes an interview with Block.

Raised in New York, Aurora “Rory” Block grew up in culturally rich Little Italy. Her mother gave her a $4 guitar to provide an outlet for her daughter’s creativity, and music became the center of Rory’s life. At 14, she became part of a regular Sunday jam session in Washington Square Park, where people would crowd around to hear her and other musicians play ragtime, swing, and early barrel-house jazz—then relatively unheard-of in the North.

As an interpreter of the great Delta blues singers, Block has staked her claim as one of America’s top acoustic blueswomen. The New York Times calls her playing “perfect” and her singing “otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends.”

Along with four W.C. Handy Awards, Block has received the Crossroads Music Blues Bronze Star Award for Confessions of a Blues Singer and two NAIRD Awards for best adult contemporary album of the year, for Angel of Mercy (1994) and Tornado (1997). She has released more than 15 albums, including High Heeled Blues and Last Fair Deal.