The Queen of Soul will be laid to rest this week.
During her final performance in Philadelphia, Aretha Franklin told the audience:
I started, really in Philadelphia. I worked at Pep’s on Broad Street and I worked at the Cadillac Club. I’ve worked all over Philadelphia.
Indeed, she did. Ms. Franklin worked her magic at the Uptown Theater, where on Friday, August 31, the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation will host a tribute to the life and music of the Queen of Soul. The event will take place in front of the historic theater.
The program will begin at 6pm with musical tributes to Ms. Franklin, followed by a candlelight ceremony at 7pm. For more info, contact Linda Richardson at (215) 236-1878.
Black Music Month was first observed on June 7, 1979 at the White House.
As B.B. King observed, African Americans first got the blues when “they brought [us] over on a ship.”
Enslaved Africans used the message in the music to plan their escape.
Music helped runaways navigate the pathway to freedom.
On their quest for freedom, some of our enslaved ancestors found sanctuary in Abolition Hall and the surrounding fields. A developer’s plan to develop the fields struck a discordant note with Sydelle Zove, convener of Friends of Abolition Hall, and Avenging The Ancestors Coalition. ATAC Founder Michael Coard recently wrote:
Abolition Hall was built in 1856 by George Corson, a Quaker abolitionist. It, its adjacent family home, and purportedly its adjacent fields were where Black men, women, and children took shelter in courageous attempts to flee slavery. Zove says the developer proposes to “subdivide and reconfigure” this historic homestead to construct 67 townhouses on the open fields directly next to the hall. Once divided, notes Zove, the developer plans to sell the hall, the stone barn, and the Thomas Hovenden House – all listed on the aforementioned National Register. She continues by pointing out that it’s not just the hall that’s in jeopardy but also the “fields where cornstalks hid fugitives”—fields she describes as an “integral part of the site.”
The developer’s proposal would box in the national historic landmark. So Friends of Abolition Hall and ATAC are asking concerned citizens to raise their voices and tell Whitemarsh Township: Abolition Hall deserves better. The Board of Supervisors will meet on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 7pm, 616 Germantown Avenue in Lafayette Hill. If you need a ride, holler.
We all have seen Google Doodles. The drawings “celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.”
Google accepts suggestions from the public. You can help one of the most celebrated bluesmen, Muddy Waters, get a Google Doodle.
American Blues Scene, a popular website, is petitioning Google to create a Muddy Waters doodle:
No figure has inspired an international music explosion quite like blues musician McKinley "Muddy Waters" Morganfield, who left a log cabin in a Mississippi cotton field to break much greater ground with his inimitable guitar and vocal style. After more than 100 years, Muddy Waters' continuing impact has proven the blues singer to be one of the most significant figures in the history of American Music, inspiring generations of artists and cultural movements like Folk, Chicago Blues, and Rock n Roll.
You can sign the petition here. You can also email Google at email@example.com and tell them about the “Hoochie Coochie Man.”
The blues master is memorialized on a Chicago high-rise.
With your help, Muddy Waters will be immortalized for all Google users.
The inaugural Jazz Congress will be in session January 11-12 in New York City. Co-produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center and Jazz Times, the conference will “bring together artists, media and industry leaders in the global jazz community to exchange ideas in order to nurture and grow the jazz community and the underlying business and organizations that promote, produce, present, market and support the music.”
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director at JALC, said:
Jazz at Lincoln Center is excited to host this much needed community initiative. We will stimulate an inclusive environment, explore new ways to expand audiences for our music, and learn from one another. With so much discordant non-communication around the world and in our country, now is the perfect time for us to come together for serious discourse around and about our cultural, business and aesthetic objectives.
Jazz has what our modern world needs. Let us all take pride in our collective advocacy of this great music by identifying, declaring and demonstrating our common ground.
The program includes panels focusing on race and gender, and audience development. Hall of Fame basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabber, a jazz enthusiast whose father was a trombonist, will deliver the keynote address. Abdul-Jabbar will talk about the role jazz can play in today's society.
I am particularly interested in the panel discussion on jazz, politics and activism. One of my objectives with All That Philly Jazz is to contextualize jazz within the framework of movements for social change. Indeed, the jazz culture was about intersectionality before the term was coined.
The Christmas season is hard on folks who are too broke to pay attention. But if you are a literary giant like Langston Hughes, your DIY Christmas cards end up on display at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
Michael Morand, the Beinecke Library’s communications director, told Hyperallergic:
Langston Hughes’s extensive archives provide numerous insights into his long life and career. His 1950 typewritten Christmas postcards illuminate a period when his finances were limited though his friendships remained abundant. He wittily addressed his wide circle of friends that year with verse that tell how times were tough and still convey resilience and joy. Likewise, the 17 boxes in the archives of Christmas cards he received and kept over many decades demonstrate the breadth and depth of his personal and professional relationships with other cultural and civic leaders.