Faith Nolan was born in Nova Scotia, a fifth-generation Canadian, in a predominantly black community whose cultural roots resembled those in the Southern United States. A black activist from a musical family, Nolan sings about such topics as Canadian black history and heritage, feminism, and workers' and children's rights. Nolan's musical abilities are enhanced by her educational background in theater, opera, and writing and her commitment to community work. Nolan is a singer and composer who plays folk guitar sprinkled with funk and reggae; who plays slide guitar, tambourine, and harmonica in the earliest blues traditions; and who speaks the cultural language -- spirituals, gospel, jazz -- of African-North American music. Nolan's concerns for common people are articulated in her album releases that began in the 1980s with Africville (1986), Sistership (1987), and Freedom to Love (1989) and continued through the '90s (Hard to Imagine, 1996) and into the 21st century (Let It Shine, 2002; Faith Nolan Live, 2003; Day Done Broke; 2006). Faith Nolan finds her strength in music, and her music finds its strength in her acutely sensitive awareness of issues that are made invisible and rarely addressed in mainstream music.
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