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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Folk Music Center musician receives living legend’ award

Longtime local musician, vocalist and teacher Elizabeth Hangan was recently honored with a Living Legend award for her contributions to blues music in Los Angeles.

Ms. Hangan, 61, the daughter of the late Clabe Hangan, himself a revered local blues musician, received the award February 7 at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in the storied Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The award came from the Living Legend Foundation, which honors the contributions of Los Angeles jazz and blues musicians, “while they are alive to appreciate the honoring,” according to its website. It was presented by the Foundation’s coordinator, Linda Morgan.

The ceremony was unexpectedly moving for Ms. Hangan.

“At first I was like, ‘Oh yeah, this is really cool,’” she said. “But when she came up with the award I was really emotional. It’s really beautiful. There are signed proclamations from the city of Los Angeles, and the California Assembly. And of course I thought about my dad, who passed away in 2008. So I accepted it on his behalf as well.”

Ms. Hangan, who teaches voice and bass at Claremont’s Folk Music Center, will use the accolade as fuel to keep going.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “It also deepens my commitment to why we share our music with people. As musicians, we’re like ministers; It’s our job to bring this music to people so that they can feel better, or if they need to change, maybe we can give them the words to be stronger people. It’s a real honor.”

Ms. Hangan’s next show is Saturday, February 23 at Urban Press Winery, 316 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, where she’ll be singing with a trio from 9 p.m. to midnight.

“It was a kind of thing that first of all you don’t expect, because many of us play without any of that kind of external recognition,” she said. “We live and play our music, and then we die and get our recognition after the fact.”

Ms. Hannigan appears at an 8:30 p.m. blues jam most Thursdays at Route 66 Roadhouse and Tavern in Duarte.

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