René Marie, the award winning singer whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel, has quickly become a heroine to many; a woman of great strength exuding stamina and compassion; often explaining how finding her voice and self through singing gave her the courage to leave an abusive marriage. But since the release of her recording debut, Renaissance, this Colorado based heroine has also evolved into one of the greatest and most sensuous vocalists of our time. Unmistakably honest and unpretentious while transforming audiences worldwide with her powerful interpretations, electrifying deliveries and impassioned vocals — René Marie has drawn a legion of fans and music critics who find themselves not only entertained, but encouraged and even changed by her performances.With her latest release Voice of My Beautiful Country (Motema Music), listeners will hear her trademark vocals but will also be struck by the wide variety of songs that she interprets. During the course of the album, Marie brings her personal touch to everything from Motown to Tin Pan Alley to “America the Beautiful.” But Voice of My Beautiful Country is much more than a demonstration of Marie’s eclectic musical tastes; it is an ambitious celebration of Americana and the cultural diversity of these United States. She is on tour with stop in Oakland, CA, Thursday, June 30, 2011. Bill Doggett joins us to talk abiout his exhibit at the SF Public Library, African American Center, The Underground Railroad: Songs of Hope and Freedom. It focuses in on the value of the Negro Spiritual for survival and in its coded use of passages that are used as coded language. The opening is July 2, 2011, 1 p.m., and features Omnira Voices of Freedom Choir, in the Koret auditorium. A reception follow. Director, Mark S. Wexler, speaks about How to Live Forever, opens July 8, 2011 at Landmark Opera Plaza.
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