Billie Holiday, also known as Lady Day, was born to sing her blues in jazzy, sultry tones from coast to coast. Holiday's personal life was tumultuous and the difficulties of poverty and prejudice created a complex backdrop for a sadness she was unable to overcome.
As part of the KiMo Theatre's 90th anniversary celebration, and in partnership with the New Mexico Humanities Council and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, a free Chautauqua performance will bring Holiday's story to life at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the historic theater.
In Singin' the Blues, Brenda Hollingsworth-Marley stars as Holiday, who was introduced to Harlem and the Harlem Renaissance in the late 1920s. Holiday used her unique singing style to work with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Bessie Smith and a number of other blues and jazz greats of her time. Known for her popular hits such as God Bless the Child and All of Me, the memory of Holiday has endured through generations of jazz lovers.
Hollingsworth-Marley is a popular vocalist, having appeared at numerous community, church and jazz events. She is also a storyteller who has performed in many venues including the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the African American Pavilion at Expo New Mexico.
Future Chautauquas include Music from the Ranch and the Open Range on March 26; Traditional New Mexico Folk Music on April 23; and Sephardic Jews in N.M. - Stories and Songs on June 25. All performances are on Sunday at 2pm. All are free to attend.
For a complete list of the KiMo's 90th anniversary season of celebration events, visit www.kimotickets.com.
Throughout the year, the KiMo will travel through the decades with trivia, "then and now" posts and "remember when" features. The KiMo invites the community to join in by posting memories and photos on social media using #KiMo90. Back in 1937, the KiMo screened Green Light starring Errol Flynn and Anita Louise. Also that year was the Fall Fashion Revue presented by the National Garment Co., Paris Shoe Store and Jack Lawler's Beauty Salon.