A TRIBUTE TO ODETTA -Presented by The World Folk Music Association in alexandria, va 3/24/07 - - - - photographs by peter cunningham
Reverend Marie Knight
Laura McGhee
Jesse Winchester
David Amram
Oscar Brand
Carolyn Hester and daughters
Donal Leace
Madeleine Peyroux
Josh White Jr.
Janis Ian
Side by Side
Robert Sims

To overestimate Odetta's influence on the generations that surround her would be impossible.

Tonight, you will hear a great deal about her - about her playing, her singing, her devotion to the rights of all people, be they black or white, gay or straight, their stories sung or unsung. But frankly, I take those things for granted. I assume she will be a good player, because she is Odetta. I assume she'll sing well, because she is Odetta. I assume she will be actively involved in causes for the betterment of mankind because, after all, she is Odetta. I take those things for granted.

What I have never been able to take for granted is her grace, and her dignity. When I am near Odetta, I stand a bit straighter. I speak a bit more clearly. And I note that everyone around her does the same. When we are around Odetta, we are one and all on our best behavior. It is not because we feel like children about to be chastised by an adult. It is not because we fear her, or even that we admire her.

We are on our best behavior because Odetta only sees what is best in us.

I can pay no higher compliment.
- Janis Ian

This Little Light of Mine
I'm Gonna Let It Shine
 
We Shall Overcome

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This Little Light of Mine
I'm Gonna Let It Shine
 
We Shall Overcome

Odetta and the Boys Choir of Harlem