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October 5 - Author of "With Stars In My Eyes" - Renetta DeBlase
In the late 1960’s against a backdrop of civil unrest, race riots and the Vietnam war, Renetta DeBlase, a young white college student from the suburbs, fell in love with the uniquely African American music emanating from the hipster jazz clubs of New York. Soon, she was a valued insider in that world, fighting to bring the music of jazz pianist Billy Taylor and the hugely influential Duke Ellington to audiences no matter what the color.
In her latest work, With Stars In My Eyes, Ms. DeBlase exposes the prejudice she faced, from both white and black audiences, music executives and concert industry insiders all the while developing close working relationships with music legends including Ellington and Taylor as their promoter.
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