Janice Monti, chair and professor of sociology and criminology at Dominican University just outside Chicago, is one of the nation's preeminent scholars on the blues and its place in American culture.
As director of the bi-annual Blues and the Spirit Symposium, Monti has brought together and studied alongside the nation's top scholars, industry professionals and musicians and artists in the blues today.
"Buddy Guy is an iconic American figure, and his story is in so many ways emblematic of the changes that have taken place in American society. His life is a metaphor of the American Dream with all the 'rags to riches' elements in place—growing up poor in Louisiana, making his first guitar out paint cans and strings he tore off an old screen door, coming up to Chicago, learning from the Blues masters like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and driving trucks until he could make his living from the music he loved."
Monti holds a PhD in sociology from, Carleton University, Canada, and is a regular commenter in the media on blues culture.
Read more about Monti's background at http://www.dom.edu/newsroom/experts/index.html.