Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Gaye Adegbalola

Gaye Adegbaloia

Gaye Adegbalola

Gaye Todd was born and raised in Fredericksburg,Virginia. She graduated as valedictorian of the then-segregated Walker-Grant HighSchool. She finished Boston University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked as a technical writer for TRW Systems, a biochemical researcher at Rockefeller University, and a bacteriologist at Harlem Hospital. She has a Masters degree in Educational Media (with a concentration in photography) from Virginia State University.

In the early 70s, she began her teaching career. She was an educator in the Fredericksburg City Public School system for 18 years, and honored as Virginia State Teacher of the Year in 1982. Throughout her teaching career, she directed Harambee 360 Experimental Theater. She was able to creatively use performance as a tool to assist black youth in gaining confidence as they struggled with identity issues during the spread of "integration."

During her teaching career, Ms. Adegbalola moonlighted as a musician. By maintaining the blues legacy, she now sees herself as a contemporary griot keeping the history alive, delivering messages of empowerment, ministering to the heartbroken, and finding joy in the mundane. As a founding member of Saffire the Uppity Blues Women, she became a full-time performer. (Saffire ended in November, 2009, after making music together for 25 years.)

She has toured nationally and internationally, and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Blues Music Award (formerly the W.C. Handy Award the Grammy of the blues industry). As of 2012, Adegbalola has 14 CDs in national distribution, including 4 on herown label, Hot Toddy Music. Gaye composes, sings and plays acoustic guitar, slide guitar, and harmonica.

What reviewers are saying:

  "Adegbalola possesses a classic blues singer's talent to breathe life
  into mere words. It's the combination of prodigious singing, timely
  material and exquisite production (courtesy of Block) that raises this
  effort above any mere "women's blues" label . . . Her identification
  with humanity's daily struggles - and her ability to articulate them -
  secure Adegbalola's place within the tradition." -- Blues Review Magazine

  "Some of the frankest and funniest songs in their (Saffire's) repertory
  are Adegbalola originals, songs in which a liberated woman looks on
  love with the rueful eye of experience and the saving grace of good
  humor." -- The Washington Post

  A gifted writer, vocalist and performer, her lyrics speak of the human
  condition with as much eloquence (earthy street talk, of course,
  qualifying) as one could want. She tells it like it is. . . Adegbalola
  is one of the most electrifying blues performers around." --
  Sacramento Blues Society

  "Outspoken, yet introspective, Adegbalola's blues are essential
  listening material! It's enlightening, entertaining and effectively
  effervescent!" -- Blues Connection; BRITAIN

Gaye Adegbalola's Music on Amazon

Gaye appeared in the February 2010 and the January 2013 Songrwriters Showcase

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