Storyteller Jackie Torrence, died Tuesday, November 30, at her home in Granite
Quarry, North Carolina. She was 60 years old.
Although well-versed in traditional African American folklore and folktales,
Jackie Torrence became a storyteller by chance. She was an assistant at the High
Point, NC, library and started telling stories to keep peace among the children.
As a result she was asked to tell a story at a community event, and continued to
be asked to tell tales in the community, and continued telling tales in 47
states, Great Britain, New Zealand, Guam, Sweden, and Mexico.She first appeared at the National Storytelling Festival in 1977 and quickly
became a spokesperson for the storytelling movement and for the National
Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling (NAPPS),
forerunner to the National Storytelling Network.. She appeared frequently on
television, with appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, and CBS Sunday
Morning with Charles Kurault and co-hosted a Halloween special, The Teller and
the Tale, with Sally Struthers. Steven Spielberg asked Torrence to tell stories
to the top creative artists of his DreamWorks SKG.
Torrence produced nine recordings on several labels. In 1989, her work was
recognized in I Dream a World, by Brian Lanker, a photographic essay about
African-American women who have changed America. Her 1992 play Bluestory,
related the history of blues music and was performed by Piedmont blues musicians
John Cephas and Phil Wiggins. She authored two books, The Importance of Pot
Liquor, and Jackie Tales: The Magic of Creating Stories and the Art of Telling
[Obituary courtesy of the Folk Alliance].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.