Marva Wright

Several years ago I got the chance to spend a few days in New Orleans, Louisiana when my husband had a conference there.  One night we were walking past a bar that had all its doors and windows open and we could hear music and an amazing female voice singing. We went in and found the place packed, standing three deep at the bar, and on a small stage was a band and a magnificent, effervescent woman singing her heart out.  The handbills in the bar  told us that she was Marva Wright, who had begun her singing career at age 40, and who had traveled to jazz and blues festivals all over the world with her group, the BMW’s. Because we had walked all day and were standing, we didn’t stay forever, just under an hour, but after, I felt I’d really gotten some New Orleans jazz. The next day at one of the open air markets that sell things to tourists, I found her CD, Marvalous, with Mardi Gras Records, and the vendor who sold it to me told me that Wright was a local legend. I’ve listened to that CD often since then and always meant to try to get more of her recordings. I was sad to hear that after struggles with diabetes, that she passed away on March 23, from complications from a stroke, at the age of 62.  She is a reminder to me of the wonderful range and treasures that exist in the world of art so successfully and she will be missed. Below is a video from a performance last year, and because the sound quality is not ideal, here is another video that just gives a really good audio recording of the same song:


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