Born Matilda S. Joyner in Portsmouth 1869, Sissieretta Jones was a trailblazing African American pioneer of the concert and theatrical stages during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She studied music at the Providence School of Music and the New England Conservatory in Boston. Jones sang for several U.S. presidents and at the Chicago world’s fair in 1893. While performing with the “Black Patti Troubadours” she always closed each show with brilliant renditions of opera and gospel music. Her popularity spanned the globe, and she received medals and lavish gifts from many foreign heads of state.
Original Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Portsmouth
Physical Description of Location: Marker location is an estimate at the time marker was approved by DHR. Actual location will be updated when marker is cast and erected.
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