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    John Cephas at the 2006 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by David Hobson, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

    John Cephas at the 2006 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by David Hobson, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

  • John Cephas, 1930-2009

    Piedmont blues guitarist and vocalist John Cephas passed away March 4th at his home in Woodford, Virginia. Cephas, a 1989 National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, recorded the album Richmond Blues in 2008 with his longtime musical partner Phil Wiggins as part of the African American Legacy Recording Series.

    Cephas & Wiggins teamed up in 1977 after meeting at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and were named W.C Handy Blues Entertainers of the Year in 1987. Cephas, who once said "blues music is truth", served on the Executive Committee of the National Council for the Traditional Arts and was a founder of the Washington D.C. Blues Society. Click here to watch a video of Cephas & Wiggins discussing the Piedmont Blues style.


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