Presented by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem
Hosted by Father Peter F. O’Brien
Performance footage including her Emmy award nominated episode of Route 66, “Goodnight Sweet Blues.”
Vocalist and actress Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was a key figure in the development of African American culture between the two world wars. She broke barrier after barrier, becoming the first black woman heard on the radio, the first African American to perform in an integrated cast on Broadway, the first black woman to perform in a lead dramatic role on Broadway and the first black woman nominated for an Emmy for her role in the drama Route 66. In this episode, which will be screened in its entirety, Waters plays a dying blues musician longing to have her group reunited for one last gig. Father O’brien has also selected her filmed performances clips to present the dynamic range of Ms. Water’s illustrious and influential career.
Father Peter O’Brien is the Executive Director of the Mary Lou Williams Foundation.