Shades of Blues

Boo Hanks by Tim Duffy
Ruth Brown

Blues never lets tragedy have the last word.

Wynton Marsalis

At Strathmore, we believe in the power of art to heal, to lift us up from the difficulties of life. And nothing can do that like the blues. Music so powerful it’s lived on, thrived, and transformed through more than a century of turmoil and change in our country.

We teach kids about the blues in our annual 5th grade student concerts, and we invite you to brush up on your blues knowledge with our online educational content. Dive in!

This content was originally commissioned and presented as part of our 2016–2017 Shades of Blues festival. 

Education Content & Resources

Early Blues Recording Labels
By Jim O'Neal

The State of Blues Today
By Elijah Wald

Blues 101: The Blues Enters the Scene
By Marcia Friedman

Blues 102: The Blues On The Move
By Marcia Friedman

What makes the blues sound like the blues?
By Chris Slattery

Some of the Many Shades of Blues
By Michelle Davis

Regional Blues Styles
By Brian Huff

Washington, DC - City of the Blues
By Ken Avis

Know Your DC Blues Icons
By Ken Avis

The Enduring Influence & Tradition of the Blues
By Giovanni Russonello

And be sure to check out this great article from the Washington Post!
What the Blues Sounds Like All Over the Map

About Shades of Blues


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Youssou Ndour Performs At Strathmore 413X330