On My Living room wall, I have a wonderful photograph of the classic Art Kane photograph of 57 jazz greats taken in August 1958. Just as the Supreme Court was striking down segregated schools in Brown vs. Board, we see black and, white musicians together in the heat of a summer day. It’s a powerful statement on the power of music to break down doors and to bring people together.  It also allows one to think about the contributions of talented African Americans to jazz. We see titans of the music- Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Mary Lou Williams, and Sonny Rollins standing among so many others who helped shape the genre. 

During the month, as we celebrate Black History Month, the WHRV music producers offer their own tributes to the musical geniuses of jazz, blues, and folk and look at how their artistry helped fuel a greater awareness not only of the music but in a need for change in America. Listen to the jazz giants weeknights while our jazz producer Jae Sinnett offers insights into the music and the history behind its artistry.

Also, during the month, on “A Shot of the Blues” Paul Shugure will program the African American greats of the genre. And, spirituals, gospel, and folk music all played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement when musicians like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Pete Seeger disseminated songs to activists to motivate them. Tune in Sunday nights during February to hear the songs and the stories of the movement.

All month long, the richness of the music, as we celebrate Black History Month on WHRV.