Jackson in Hinds County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, a native of Jackson, is known for her broad explorations of various forms of music, including the blues. Her recordings include versions of songs by Delta blues artists Robert Johnson, Son House, and Muddy Waters. Wilsonís father, bassist Herman Fowlkes, Jr., was a leading musician on the Jackson jazz scene. He recorded with Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2 and other blues artists. Wilson grew up here on Albermarle Road.
Wilson was declared “Americaís best singer” by Time magazine in 2001, in recognition not only of her great accomplishments in jazz but also of her creative approaches to a broad range of music, including the blues. Born Cassandra Marie Fowlkes on December 4, 1955, Wilson first learned clarinet and in her late teens made her professional debut playing folk songs on the guitar. While attending Jackson State University she played guitar and sang with Past, Present, Future, which included fellow students Rhonda Richmond on violin, Yvonne “Niecie” Evers on congas, and Nellie “Mack” McInnis on bass.
Wilson began singing modern jazz after encouragement by drummer Alvin Fielder, a native of Meridian and a founding member, along with John Reese, of the local Black Arts Music Society. In 1981 Wilson moved to New Orleans, where she performed with jazz musicians Earl Turbington and Ellis Marsalis, and the following year relocated to New York City, where she began a long relationship with the experimental jazz collective M-Base, led by saxophonist Steve Coleman. She recorded her first album in 1986 for the German JMT label and in 1993 she signed with the prestigious Blue Note label. Her Blue Note albums brought Wilson international acclaim as well as Grammy Awards for New Moon Daughter (1996) and Loverly (2003).
Wilsonís father, Herman Fowlkes, Jr. (1918—1993), played an integral role in an under-documented Jackson jazz/R&B scene that produced national figures Teddy Edwards, Freddie Waits, Dick Griffin, and Mel Brown, and local luminaries such as brothers Kermit, Jr., Bernard, and Sherrill Holly. Fowlkes, a native of the Chicago area, played trumpet in a U. S. Army band and in 1948 came to Jackson, where he studied at Jackson State together with music professor William W. “Prof”
Erected 2010 by Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 100.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Grammy Award Winners, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
Location. 32° 20.416′ N, 90° 12.236′ W. Marker is in Jackson, Mississippi, in Hinds County. Marker is on Albermarle 0.1 miles south of West Ridgeway Street. Mississippi Blues Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3565 Albermarle Rd, Jackson MS 39213, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies C.M. and I. College (approx. 0.4 miles away); Medgar Evers Home (approx. half a mile away); Queen of Hearts (approx. 1.1 miles away); Malaco Records (approx. 1.6 miles away); Kate McWillie Powers Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Millsaps College (approx. 1.9 miles away); MFWC Headquarters (approx. 1.9 miles away); Lampton Estate (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jackson.
Also see . . .
1. Mississippi Blues Trail: Cassandra Wilson - Jackson. (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
2. Dakota: About Cassandra Wilson. (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
3. Mississippi Musicians: Cassandra Wilson. (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
4. Jackson Free Press: Cassandra Wilson Brings Music to Town. March 27, 2012 article by R. L. Nave (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
5. New York Times Archives: In the Studio With Cassandra Wilson; Singing a Song of the South. Article by Charisse Jones, published September 29, 1994 (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
6. New York Times Archives:Going Home With Cassandra Wilson; Jazz Diva Follows Sound of Her Roots. Article by John Leland, published March 7, 2002 (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
7. MM Music Agency: Cassandra Wilson. Includes audio/video tracks (Submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
Topics. This marker is included in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Women
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This page has been viewed 521 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 5, 2014, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.