Shannon Bayou Williford
Children - particularly in the South - should be exposed to their musical history. Blues, the only Made-in-America art form, is a root of all American popular music; yet it was created in tragedy. “What the Blues has Done for You” is a program that speaks to the child’s love for music and makes cross-curricular connections to history, geography and mathematical rhythm; all in an educational, lively and participatory show. Shannon “Bayou” Williford is an award-winning performing educator and harmonica player based in Nashville, TN. Williford conceived, performed in and produced the assembly program, starring the legendary James “Nick” Nixon and himself in 1997. In the year 2000 Nixon and Williford were honored with the prestigious Keep the Blues Alive Award (KBA) by the Blues Foundation for their in-school performances. The duo continued school programs through the year 2009. During their 12-year run, the duo logged as many as 70 in-school appearances a year; with performances in 7 Southeast states and all over Tennessee. The new, revived form of the program includes young bluesman Bentley Caldwell and veteran blues guitarist Casey “Grandpa” Lutton. Song-writing workshops and residencies are also available.