Local bassist/keyboardist/songwriter Afi Scruggs learned to play piano before gravitating to other instruments. She plays a bit of everything, including blues, bluegrass, gospel and jazz.
The recipient of a songwriting commission from Chicago Public Media’s Race Out Loud program, she composes trap and hip-hop beats for students writing songs against bigotry and hatred and has performed with blues harpist Wallace Coleman as well as local guitarists Michael J. Calhoun and Charlie Christopherson. Her single “Love Walked Out” has been featured on 107.3 FM the Wave.
At 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, she’ll celebrate her 65th birthday with a special Electric Eclectic Afi concert at the Bop Stop
. She’ll play covers and originals, sharing her creative maturity in the name of a great time.
“I hear a lot of people say, ‘Oh, you’re so many years young’ and mean it as a compliment,” she says. “No, I’m 65 years old. My experiences enrich everything I do.”
The band for the concert includes veteran keyboardist Kerry Joe Holland, a long-time member of the Spirit Plus Showband, guitarist Jerome Mitchell and drummer Rashon Blake. Guest vocalists Dorianne Denard and Donnie Lynee will be on hand as well, and rapper/producer Sam Poetry will make a special appearance.
Since June, Scruggs, who’s written for USAToday
and Crisis Magazine
, has been a reporter producer for 90.3 WCPN, covering spot news. She’s also written a children’s picture book, a memoir and a collection of essays on knitting. A doctorate in Slavic linguistics from Brown University, she’s been known to speak Russian "whenever possible," as she puts it.
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