Today is the 56th birthday of Meridian, MS-born singer Patrice Moncell, who passed away in 2015, seen here performing at the Delta Blues Festival in Greenville, MS in the mid 1990's. I had the honor of doing a show with her in Meridian a couple of years before she died. She was the most powerful vocalist I've ever worked with.
From the Jackson Free Press obit: "As a classically trained vocalist, Moncell once sang with the New England Vocal Ensemble in its performance of "The Mozart Requiem" and with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for its performance of "Beethoven's Mass in C Major." She was also gifted at singing French, Italian and German arias, and was invited to sing spirituals at the Vatican in 1999.
Despite her successes in classical music, Moncell chose to pursue blues, soul and gospel. She provided background vocals for Cassandra Wilson and led Soop & Co. singles "Just Because You're a Lover" and "Take Me to the Mountain Top" in the '70s. She also performed with Jackson soul band The Bluz Boys as the lead female vocalist from 1985 to 2000, regularly performing at major local events such as Jubilee Jam.
"She was the Aretha Franklin of Jackson, and that's what we used her for," The Bluz Boys trumpet player Bob Davidson says. "She brought an awful lot to those events, (even if) there was a blazing-hot sun out. ... When she hit the stage, she delivered the goods, and she felt them. She had this huge, powerful voice." "_______________________________________________________________________________________#patricemoncell#deltabluesfestival#jukestage#femalevocalist#mississippi#greenvillemississippi#bluessinger#deltablues#soulshouter#mississippiblues#blackandwhitephotography#blackandwhitephoto#hasselblad#hasselblad500cm#trix400#bluesportraits#blackandwhitefilm