GAYE TODD ADEGBALOLA (pronounced AH - DEG - BA - LOLA), is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. She is a Blues Music Award (BMA) winner and a founding member of Saffire -The UppityBlues Women (1984-2009). Her CD about LGBTQ issues, “Gaye Without Shame” was nominated for a BMA and her children’s CD, “Blues in All Flavors" won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her 2019 release, “The Griot” (pronounced GREE - OH) chronicles topical blues for topical times.
Gaye has received the Kristen Lems “Social Change Through Music” Award at the National Women’s Music Festival in 2018 and in 2019 the “Koko Taylor Queen of the Blues" Award for preserving traditional blues from the Jus’ Blues Foundation. Along with her music recognitions she is a former Virginia State Teacher of the Year (8th grade science) and has been honored as an OUTstanding Virginian. The Library of Virginia recognized her as one of the 2018 Virginia Women in History Honorees (along with Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Dove and others).
Mother of Juno Lumumba Kahlil, Gaye is a long-time activist, who continues to provide a voice for those who have been marginalized by society. By definition of her life’s work, she is indeed a griot.