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Walker Reader

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson is an American jazz musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Jackson, Mississippi. Described by critic Gary Giddins as "a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack who has expanded the playing field" by incorporating blues, country and folk music into her work. At the completion of a stint with M-Base Collective (of which she is a founding member), Cassandra sought a more acoustic context for her vocal expression. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1992 and released a landmark album titled “Blue Light ‘Til Dawn” which would pave the way for a new generation of jazz singers seeking an approach and repertoire that challenged the supremacy of the American Standard songbook. Wilson has continued interpreting in fresh and creative ways jazz, vintage blues, country and folk music up until the present day. Her awards include: two Grammys, the Django D’Or, The Edison Music Award, and a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. She also performed one of the leading roles in Wynton Marsalis' "Blood on the Fields," the first jazz work to receive a Pulitzer Prize.

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