March 23, 2010 – Marva Wright was born March 20th 1948 in New Orleans Louisiana. Marva sang blues all her life, starting as a child at home and in church, but she didn’t start her professional career as a blues singer until 1987, almost 40 years old, when she began singing on Bourbon Street and became the powerhouse of New Orleans’ blues and gospel scene. Even then, she only began singing as a way to support her family with a second job.
Early in 1989 during a live set at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Wright made her first recording, Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean and made her debut on national television in 1991, when her hometown was the setting for a special that revolved around the Super Bowl where she met CBS news anchorman Ed Bradley, who thought at that time that she only sang Gospel.
Later that same year he rediscovered her at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and from that day on has been encouraging her career. Heartbreakin’ Woman, Wright’s first full-length release, appeared later that year and was honored by the Louisiana Music Critics Association as Blues Album of the Year.
Wright’s 1993 album Born With The Blues was originally released in France, then three years later the major-label imprint Virgin picked it up for the rest of the world. Marva went on to gig across the globe, in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Brazil.
Her appearances in the U.S. include Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, Texas, California, Vermont, Colorado, and Florida.
She worked with many artists including Joe Cocker, Glen Campbell, Allen Toussaint, Harry Connick Jr., Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Lou Rawls, and Marcia Ball with whom she also sang backup .
Marva released 9 albums over her career, her last effort in 2007, After The Levees Broke, addressed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina – which destroyed her house and all her belongings – by repurposing songs like Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is.”.
In August 2008, she performed with the Louisiana Wetlands All Stars at both the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado and the Republican National Convention in Minnesota.
In May and June 2009, Wright suffered a pair of strokes from which she never fully recovered. She died on March 23, 2010, a few days after her 62nd birthday at her eldest daughter’s home in New Orleans.