International blues recording artist Teeny Tucker will be at the University Park campus Tuesday (Feb. 18) for a talk and performance about “Women in The Blues.”
Tucker, the daughter of Tommy “Hi-Heel Sneakers” Tucker, will speak at 11:30 a.m. in President’s Hall at The Penn State Conference Center Hotel as part of the University’s Forum Speaker Series and co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity.
She will also hold a free concert with her band at 7 p.m. in Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. The concert is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center.
“When they told me I was coming to Penn State, I thought, ‘Wow, Penn State, that’s a pretty big college, isn’t it,’ ” Tucker said in a video of a similar performance she gave last year at Penn State Schuylkill. “When I got here and I looked into the students eyes and realized that they were really enjoying it, I felt good about it.”
Tucker has performed at major blues festivals in the United States and Europe, including Sweden, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The Dayton, Ohio, native has performed on the same bill with blues greats such as B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Etta James and Buddy Guy, and is equally adept at intimate discussion, focusing on blues history.
In addition to her father, she credits among her influences: Etta James, Koko Taylor, Mahalia Jackson and Big Mama Thornton. Tucker was nominated by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tenn., for the Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Female Blues Artist; also Tucker and her band were invited to tape a 30-minute show at Sun Studios in Memphis for an episode of “Sun Session,” which frequently airs on PBS nationwide. Tucker was selected as the 2011 Federal Carter G. Woodson Award winner at the Black History/ Carter G. Woodson Program in Columbus, Ohio.