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Jazz Singer and Activist Abby Lincoln Dies at 80

Written by: on 15th August 2010 |
Jazz Singer and Activist Abby Lincoln Dies at 80  | read this item

The world of Jazz has just lost a very significant person. The legendary Jazz singer Abby Lincoln died Saturday at the age of 80 in Manhattan. She’s an actress, artist and composer. Her real name is Anna Marie Wooldridge and has been famous for performing and singing her own compositions.

Ever since she married Max Roach from 1962 to 1970, she has been active and connected to the political fight against racism in the United States. Two years before their marriage, she collaborated with Roach in We Insist! Freedom Now Suite.

In 2003, she received the National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters Award. Lincoln is just one of the few performers who tells stories while performing. Her death is truly a great loss to the jazz community. According to Village Voice jazz critic Nat Hentoff, Lincoln was a sometimes self-deprecating woman with a ready, sardonic wit, and her death is a huge loss to the jazz community that doesn’t have musicians like her anymore.

Lincoln collaborated with Chicago jazz singer Maggie Brown in her 1999 album, Wholly Earth. Brown have known Abbey since she was little and has influenced her much in life. Lincoln has been pressing on her not mind agents and money and just sing and perform.

“She was committed to her art. She seemed very clear of what her purpose was, what she was to do,” Brown says. She has paid tribute to Lincoln in her performance entitled “Maggie Sings Abbey”.

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