We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of blues musician Ann Rabson on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in Fredericksburg, Virginia after a long battle with cancer. She was 67.
Ann was the co-founder of the hugely successful trio Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women, and was a legendary force on the keyboards as well as being a deeply soulful vocalist. She recorded eight albums with Saffire as well as four solo albums. Her most recent recording was 2012’s Not Alone (VizzTone Records).
Ann’s prodigious talent, along with her take-no-guff attitude, struck a chord with music fans around the world. Considered one of the finest barrelhouse blues pianists of her generation, Ann — an accomplished guitarist since she was a teen — didn’t start playing piano until she was 35.
Ann’s friend, gigging and recording partner, guitarist Bob Margolin:
“The blues world is sad to lose one of our bright lights. Ann Rabson passed at home in her sleep after years of quiet strength against deadly affliction. She knew it was coming and lived her life to its fullest. She loved to play blues for people more than anyone I ever knew, anyone! In 2012 our intense collaboration on recordings and shows together and hard road trips was deliberate and spirited. She gave Death the finger as long as she could, and gave Life ten fingers on her piano. Personally, Ann Rabson was a big sister to me. Now I’m going to do what she would want, play some blues for her and celebrate her life and hold her in my heart forever. If you see me on a bandstand, and half-close your eyes, you’ll see her next to me.”
She is survived by her husband George Newman, daughter Liz Rabson Schnore and granddaughter Georgia Rabson Schnore.