If you’re feeling blue, head to Stellenbosch

Luna Paiges Her Blues will be on stage in the Boland in May. Pictured is the band.

The blues has always been about a shared experience, and in Her Blues, which takes place in Stellenbosch on Saturday May 19, Luna Paige shares her affinity for women in this genre, where they have consistently shown that music has the power to be an instrument of change.

Luna performs some of the most famous songs and shares anecdotes about the women in blues who sang them.

Her Blues is about women in the music industry, their stories, their accomplishments, their struggles and how they paved the way for successful female stars who today grace some of the biggest stages in the world.

Luna takes the audience on a journey from as early as the 1920s, where the blues found its roots in the cotton fields and the church.

She ventures into the raunchy bin bars where naughty blues was prevalent, and singers weren’t scared to push boundaries and break ties with traditional perceptions on womanhood.

Famous blues and jazz-influenced tunes by singers such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Aretha Franklin can be enjoyed, while time-traveling through the 20s right up to the 50s, when women became lead singers and managers for all-male big bands.

The cast will also transport blues lovers into the 60s, where social and political activists such as Nina Simone made an impact on the blues and jazz scenes and wrote songs about social issues such as racial and sexual inequality (and don’t forget about the ground-breaking Janis Joplin).

Blues-rock fans can also look forward to songs by modern singer-songwriters, who were all influenced by the legendary blues women from the past.

Songs by artists like Tracy Chapman, Melody Gardot, Beth Hart and Amy Winehouse can be expected, and Luna introduces one of her own blues tunes in the show.

What becomes evident during the show is the universal theme that trails through these female singers’ music and how these blues-inspired women used their music to make social commentary, to break rules, to promote feminism and to rebel against societal constructs that oppress minorities.

Many of the early blues artists dropped out of the music scene for decades, to resurface and make come backs after the introduction of the rock and roll era.

Some became nurses, housewives and activists, while a few shared a less fortunate and tragic fate. Either way. These women had a lot to say, and they made sure they said it.

The show is directed by Richard H Nosworthy, and the musical director is Simon Orange. Kevin Gibson, drums, and Sean Sanby, double bass, form the groovy rhythm section.

Michael Bester plays the guitars while Zeke le Grange is on sax, Marco Maritz on trumpet and Siya Charles on trombone form the horn section, and Adelia Douw backs Luna on vocals.

The show takes place at Botha Hall, ACVV, Merriman Avenue in Stellenbosch, with doors opening at 6.30pm, and the show starts at 7pm.

Take a picnic basket, glasses and drinks, and dress vintage to win prizes. Tickets cost R150, available at www.quicket.co.za, Visit www.iluminarproductions.co.za for more information.