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Women In Music: Karen Briggs


Portsmouth, Virginia

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For over four decades Karen Briggs has wowed audiences from around the world. The American violinist

began playing professionally as a teenager later embarking on her first major tour with the British group, Soul ll Soul.

She would go on to tour with contemporary musician, Yanni for several years garnering the nickname “The Lady in Red” from her electric violin solos.

The Freedom Concert

Source: David Livingston / Getty

Briggs has performed at such locations as Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and is the first African-American violinist to perform at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Greece, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Forbidden City in China.

In 2014 Portsmouth, officially declared November 15th “Karen Briggs Appreciation Day.”

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June is Black Music Month and it’s time to celebrate! Join Radio One Richmond as we explore the contributions of African American women in music from Virginia!

Enjoy both classic and contemporary singers, producers, instrumentalists, hosts, and more that have enhanced the melodic landscape of our state.

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Women In Music: Karen Briggs  was originally published on