Beareather Reddy – A Champion For The Blues

Published By:
Lamont Jack Pearley

Beareather Reddy, vocalist/actress/producer, is a native of Sylvania, Georgia, received a B.A. in performance arts from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She has performed in numerous plays throughout the New York metropolitan area, including “The First Wife”, “Going Homeless”, “The Mayor’s Wife”, the Audelco nominated, “Nzingha’s Children” “Cinderah” and “Freedom Trail – The Life of Harriet Tubman”.

Ms. Reddy has also performed in such night clubs as For My Sweet, Sweetwater’s, Two Steps Down, The Duplex, Jazz966, Terra Blues, The Jalopy, Brooklyn Historical Society, the 14th Street Playhouse (Atlanta, GA) Food For Thought, Petit Bassam , Solomon’s Porch, The Jazzy Jazz Festival, Briggs Farm Blues Festival and various community events and fundraisers.

She has worked with such great musicians as Archie Shepp, Max Roach, Avery Sharp, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sheila Jordan, Jimmy Sigler, Gerry Eastman, George Gee & the Jump Jivers, Mferghu, Michele Rosewoman, Donald Smith, Rachim Sahu, Atiba and the Befo’ Quotet, bassist Kim Clarke, Bertha Hope. She has appeared on ” The David Letterman Show”, “Jazz Corner”, ” Annie & Her Friends” and ABC’s WORLD NEWS NOW.
In 2001, Ms. Reddy formed her own edutainment/performance arts organization called Big Eyed Productions, Inc. BEP is dedicated to introducing community youths to blues music and preserving blues culture throughout the entire community.

Big Eyed Enterprises (formerly Big Eyed Productions) has produced such events as Sista’s Pampering Session, Africa Arises – The Roles of Black Women from Slavery to Present, Swing the Night Away with George Gee and the Jump Jivers; a blues fundraiser with Bobby “Bluesman” Hinton; and a musical theater production, “The Gospel Truth About a Blues Singer“.

Beareather is also the writer/producer/actress of three ongoing projects, “The Classic Blues Women – An Historical Tribute. This project gives an historical outlook of the era of the Classic Blues Women 1920-1930 when the black female blues singer was queen and African Americans were first introduced to the recording industry. The second project is “Dinah’s Blues” which depicts a day in the life of the legendary Blues/Jazz vocalist, Dinah Washington. Lastly, a tribute to the great American heroine, “Harriet Tubman – Ain’t life Funny?”
Beareather was the proprietor of the “Blues only” venue in the Central Brooklyn community in New York called Big Eyed Blues. Since February 2011, Ms. Reddy held fundraisers for an annual Big Eyed Blues Festival, usually held in October She has presented national and international blues performers to the community, such as Madame Pat Tandy, Irving Louis Lattin, LeeOlive Tucker (The Harlem Diva), Junior Mack, Bobby Byran, BET Gospel Video Award Nominee Gary Samuels, Vinnie Knight, Valerie June, to name a few.

The first Brooklyn Big Eyed Blues Festival was held on October 2006. Among the artists who have been featured at previous festivals are The Alexis P. Suter Band, extraordinary bluesman, Guy Davis., Roots/Americana songwriter and vocalist, Valerie June, sensational guitar/vocal duo, Junior Mack & Bobby Bryan, Mr. Ermitt “Bluesman” Williams, the Beareather and The Brown Liquor Sounds (Rudi Mwongozi – keyboards, Stanley Banks – bass), Daryle Pooser –guitar).Beareather and the Befo’ Quotet, Keith “Captain” Gamble and the Brand Nu Gypsies, the Michael Hill Blues Band, SaRon Crenshaw, Ptah Brown and the Jazz Expressions, Jeff King’s Jazz Band, Melanie B. Charles, Kim Clarke, Madame Pat Tandy, The Ray Schinnery Band, The Jimmy Hill Allstarz Band, Ayodele Maakheru, Bill Simms Jr, Chaney Simms, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, Mississippi Blues Man Floyd Lee, Clarence Spady, Michael “Murch” Powers and 18 year old guitarist, Solomon “King” Hicks.

The 9th Annual Brooklyn Big Eyed Blues Festival will be held on October 10-11, 2014, at Jazz966 and Long Island University’s “Kumble Theater”. Present line-up includes Eddy “ The Chief” Clearwater, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Beareather & The Brown Liquor Sounds, Vinnie Knight, Bette Stuy and more. As in previous years, the annual festival will include a youth workshop, which will introduce community youths to blues guitar, harmonica, writing and history as well as a performance by the “Big Eyed Blues Youth Ensemble”.

“I am a champion for the blues,” explained Ms. Reddy, “I want to create a place for people who love the blues, so they don’t have to leave Brooklyn to hear it. This mission is one of love for a wonderful art form. It is my attempt to celebrate and pass on the importance that blues music plays in our rich heritage”.

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