From an early age, Georgiary Bledsoe aspired to a life beyond what she knew as a child. She is the youngest of 17 siblings and grew up very poor in East Saint Louis, Illinois, a city often considered one of the most dangerous in America.
Despite all of that, Bledsoe excelled in school, got involved in Girl Scouts, ballet lessons, and music, and the adults in her small community often pushed her to take on leadership roles. She played piano to accompany her music class and traveled to fill in for church organists and music directors.
Music quickly became a focal point of her childhood, and it eventually became the core of her life’s mission. Bledsoe is the founder and executive director of BUMP: The Triangle, a nonprofit music education organization that focuses on music of the African diaspora.
She talks to host Frank Stasio about what music taught her as a girl and how she hopes to pass that knowledge on to future generations.