The lives of two famous members of an African-American family in Springfield will be explored in the special exhibition Blues in Our Blood: The Artistic Evolution of Taj Mahal and Carole Fredericks, on view at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum from February 15 through November 9, 2008.
The multi-media exhibition sheds light on the era, social conditions and family influences that shaped the international music careers of Henry St. Claire Fredericks, better known as GRAMMY Award-winning blues musician Taj Mahal, and his sister, the late chanteuse Carole Fredericks. The exhibition will feature photographs, film footage, album covers, posters and other memorabilia of their careers and their family, which produced an impressive collection of musicians, artists, writers, teachers and entrepreneurs. In 2006, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney declared Taj Mahal the Official Blues Musician of the Commonwealth, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst awarded Taj an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Carole, who became an extraordinarily successful pop singer in France and Africa, recorded J'ai le sang blues…I Have Blues in My Blood, written by Jacques Veneruso in 1999 for her second solo album, Couleurs et parfums. This song was the inspiration for the exhibition title. Blues in Our Blood is sponsored in part by Unity First News and Rugged Intellectual Marketing Guides.