The Chicago Blues: Big Bill Broonzy

The genre of Blues derives from folk music and is a secular version created by African Americans in the 1920s. Blues arose as a genre post-slavery, as African Americans wanted music that moved away from Negro Spirituals and work songs, but that still sounded distinctly their own. Blues can be categorized by the use of […]

Kool & The Gang: the Get Down

Kool & The Gang is a funk band that didn’t officially debut until 1969, but has been active since 1964. The band was formed in Jersey City, NJ, and consists of members Robert “Kool” and Ronald Bell, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West. Over the course of […]

Ornette Coleman: Free Jazz

The genre of jazz would not be the same without the man born by the name Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman. Jazz has a long rich history, and Ornette Coleman is one of the fathers of the subgenre of Free Jazz. Jazz began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, pulling inspiration from previous genres […]

The City Girls

Who are the City Girls? As hip hop has evolved throughout the century, many prominent groups have risen and fallen. On December 3, 1992 and February 11, 1994, Jatavia Johnson (JT) and Caresha Brownlee (Yung Miami) were born in Miami, Florida. A few decades later, and they would rise to be one of the most […]

John Lomax: The Preservation of The Negro Spiritual

Origins of the Negro Spiritual: What is a Negro Spiritual? Negro spirituals were a genre of African American folk music created by slaves brought from Africa and used by slaves typically while working. Negro Spirituals often included Christian motifs but some were secular. Negro spirituals often spoke of salvation and freedom, and were often used […]

2000s Gospel: Kirk Franklin

Who is Kirk Franklin? Kirk James Franklin is one of contemporary gospel music’s most emergent singers, songwriters, and producers. Born on January 26, 1970, Franklin would find himself the child of a strict Baptist household. The product of a rather unconventional family– Franklin lived with his aunt in Fort Worth, Texas for the better part […]

From Beebop to Soul

Presented in class: April 6 From BeeBop To Summer of Soul Oh the places a black face can go Black people rejoice for it is our time Do you hear my trumpet sing? Black people come alive Do you feel the revolution in the croon of my voice Do you feel our change coming? Oh […]

The Evolution of the Banjo

What Is The Banjo: The banjo is an instrument commonly found used in folk music that was brought from West Africa to America through slavery. In its early form, the banjo was comprised of a round drum with a neck and strings stretched on top. Over time, the banjo was adopted by white performers and […]