1915 was the year of Billie Holiday's birth. A little known fact about Ms Holiday is that her mother had some Irish heritage. Billie was born Eleanora Fagan to a 13-year-old Sadie Fagan, and a 15 year old jazz-plank* man Clarence Holiday. Babies makin' babies!
Back at a time before women had the vote, and having premarital babies at 13 was "frowned" "upon", her folks booted Sadie out of the family gaff and - also entirely abandoned, some claim, by her plank-spanking boyfriend - Sadie took to single parenthood against all opposition, sharing duties when she could with a half-sister. This is the cruel world in which Billie started life.
And while not quite as Full Irish as a delicious pork-based breakfast, the Fagan ancestral link is a good excuse for a hooley in Dublin! Sure why not? The voice on her! We want a bit o' that!
In celebration of her wonderful, frequently-cracked but never broken spirit, Billie Holiday, the voice and icon, will be recognised at what looks to be a terrific gig with the singer Jess Kav (with Nigerian heritage), the poet Clara Rose Thornton (hailing from Chicago, mahhhhn!), and a band, whose Irish musicians are themselves organisers of cultural events according to the press release which is replete with mind-blowing talent:
Johnny Rayge (guitar; Dublin's Underground Beat)
Aidan Murphy (flute; The Monday Echo) and
Enda Roche (bass; The Brownbread Mixtape).
Recently, I've seen Enda plucking the acoustic geee-tar accompanying Clara Rose Thornton and her poems, just plain improvising. Nary a bum note in sight. Impressive shtuff.
When's this epic event on?
TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY 08 JULY!!!
Book your tickets now, buttercrunchers! They are selling like very warm baked goods.
There'll be a discussion about race and lots more banter too.
There are also opportunities for sponsorship of the event itself - so far, these have been by private invitation to organisations that fit the bill (such as companies with international profiles, international target demographics, feminist agenders, racial-awareness agendas. You know yerself.). If you want more info, contact the venue.
*Plank is slang for guitar here. "Plink-plonk man" would imply piano. They're my rules, and I am sticking to them.