Lady Sings the Blues

Ann Rabson continues her 60-year love affair with music.

When singer Ann Rabson was four years old, she turned on the radio and heard Big Bill Broonzy sing the blues. She called her father at work and demanded an explanation. "I had never heard anything that spoke so directly to me," she recalls. "It's like that scene from Wizard of Oz, when everything turned to color."

Rabson grew up playing a number of instruments — including guitar, piano, and kazoo — and fronting Saffire the Uppity Blues Women. After 50 years of playing barrelhouse blues, she now wants to lead others to that wide-eyed moment of discovery. Which is why she recently started performing at schools. "The skills you develop playing for drunks also work for kids," she says.
Thu., Nov. 16, 8 p.m.