Italian student works with Alabama Blues Project

Italian student works with Alabama Blues Project
June 22, 2009
By Amelia Webber

Not the likeliest blues fan, Silvia Serrotti grew up in Tuscany, Italy, but has found her way to Alabama and the Alabama Blues Project as she pursues a doctoral degree in anthropology.

'My dissertation is about the blues today in Alabama. I chose to follow the Alabama Blues Project because they keep blues music alive,' she said.

Serrotti, 27, has had an interest in the blues since she was young. Mississippi Fred McDowell's 'You Got to Move' sparked her interest in the genre at an early age.

'I like the fact that blues music is real,' she said. '[Blues music] really helped me get through a hard period in my life, it helped me face my emotions.'

Serrotti became associated with the Alabama Blues Project, a non-profit organization with an office in Northport, in 2005 when she met Debbie Bond, the project's executive director, at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Ark.

'At this time I was working on my master's [degree] and was focusing on gender roles in the blues community and blues performance,' Serrotti said. 'Debbie told me the Alabama Blues Project was doing a traveling exhibit that fall about famous blues women and that I was welcome to come.'
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