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Black History Month

Black History Month
Blog Name: The Jazz Ride HomeAuthor: Claudia Russell , Program DirectorPosted on: February 11, 2013

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We’re now into Black History Month in the U.S. Live theaters, concert venues, libraries, lecturer series, even some television networks are celebrating this February with a host of special programming or features. Special. As in, “we don’t usually do this.” That’s where Jazz 88.3 comes in. We celebrate Black History every day. It’s true, we don’t do a lot of feature programming for this national celebration. But, each day we note the musicians who have made jazz and blues what it is today… and what it is becoming for the future. Not a day goes by without the Creators of this music honored, and the Innovators welcomed. We have the very good fortune to be the keepers of the history, keeping it alive to honor those who have come before us. And, often, we realize that these masters, these very fathers and mothers of jazz, were facing a tough world off-stage. If we’ve not experienced it, culturally accepted racism can be difficult to comprehend. In conversations with some Elder Statesmen, many of whom are now gone, I learned what their experience was like.  Imagine musicians whom an audience would pay to see, not treated with enough decency to be allowed to walk through the front door. How many of them found backstage through the kitchens of clubs? From the stories I heard…too many. Yet, listen. Their frustration, their tension, their hope, their determination all comes through the music. From the cheeky early days of Cab Calloway to the angry, heartbreaking truths of Gil Scott-Heron, stories were told. We can hear them today. We can look at these giants and give them their due respect. Not just one month of the year, but every day. They have left us their legacy. It’s in every note and we are proud to honor that, not only during Black History Month, but every day. With the respect they’re due. 

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COMMENTS:
Jon Connor:2/21/2013 6:47:45 AM
Claudia, Outstanding article. Major props for this one. Jon Connor
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