Houston, Texas, United States
Richard Congress and Hugo Blanco
107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
From 1961 to 1962 Richard Congress attended Indiana University.
New York, United States
In 1988 Richard Congress received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York.
695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065, United States
In 1990 Richard Congress obtained a Master of Arts degree from the Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Richard Congress and Jimmy Heath
Richard Congress and Yank Rachell
Richard Congress and Percy Heath of Modern Jazz Quartet
(In Blues Mandolin Man: The Life and Music of Yank Rachell...)
In Blues Mandolin Man: The Life and Music of Yank Rachell, Richard Congress delivers the first biography of a family man whose playing inspired and energized the likes of David Honeyboy Edwards, Sleepy John Estes, and Henry Townsend. No other biography discusses the mandolin's influence and role in the blues.
From 1961 to 1962 Richard Congress attended Indiana University. In 1988 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York. In 1990 Congress obtained a Master of Arts degree from the Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Richard Congress was a teacher of English as a second language at various schools, including Bronx Community College and LaGuardia Community College from 1988 to 1993. He has published a book, Blues Mandolin Man, in 2001. This is a biography of James 'Yank' Rachell, a one-of-a-kind blues mandolin player who died in 1997 at the age of eighty-seven.
In 1999 he founded Random Chance Records in New York. The label has released albums of AFROdysia, Angela Ortiz, Bill O'Connel, Bill Ware and Vibes, Charles Fambrough, Chet Baker, Chief Schabutte Gilliame, Eric Dolphy, Emanuel Young, Global Village Orchestra, Harmonica Blues Orgy, Howard Glazer, Impeach Bush/Cheney, Jerry Gonzalez, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Khan Jamal, Little Arthur Duncan, Lotz of Music, Mark Lotz & Shango's Dance, Michael Packer, Pyeng Threadgill, Randy Weston, Robert Jospé, Sam Lay, Scott Brown, Snehasish Mozumder, Steve Hobbs, The Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues.
(In Blues Mandolin Man: The Life and Music of Yank Rachell...)2001
Richard Congress said in the interview: "So I spent the 1960s and the 70s and even into the 80s (I worked in support of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and spent a lot of time in Managua working as a leftwing journalist and then organizing speaking tours of FSLN representatives in the US). I was a full immersion radical. I also belonged to a Trotskyist group (the Socialist Workers Party) for several years. I also worked closely with African National Congress members when I lived in Atlanta, GA in the early 1980s."
Richard Congress said in the interview: "So for me the music and politics were all tied together. I put sold my drum set and dove into radical politics in the 60s and never looked back. I worked full-time as an anti-Vietnam war protest organizer. I participated in starting a chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Indianapolis in 1964. It was a very integrated, dynamic organization and we led some successful campaigns to force businesses to stop discriminating racially."
Quotations: "I can’t imagine living without blues (and Jazz…real jazz is blues-based too) in my head, and listening to recorded or live music. And for me it was a soundtrack to my political activities."
Richard Congress is a member of the Association for Independent Music and the American Civil Liberties Union. He is also a member of the Recording Academy, the Blues Foundation, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
On May 31, 1991, Richard Congress married Helen Schiff.