Feb 07 2012

Music and Black History

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong - Jazz pioneer

Black History Month is an important time of year for many people for very obvious reasons; it is also very import among musicians. Without our African-American brethren, we would not have some of the most important of the past 100 years. While many of their white counterparts have often taken the credit for their music over the years, black musicians have been instrumental (no pun intended) in creating and developing the most beloved styles of music in recent memory.


Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix and his signature left handed guitar

From the plantations as slaves to marching for greater freedoms in the 60’s, the struggles of the African-American community and their rich cultural history have found a voice through several unique styles of music. Imagine a world without the Blues, Jazz, R&B, Rock N’ Roll and Hip-Hop. Without their innovations and ability of blending many complex styles of music, we would never have experienced the “Motown Sound” or have discovered Elvis and the Beatles.



Ray Charles

Ray Charles - One of the most influential artists ever.

Dizzy Gillespie - a true jazz giant - pictured here with his signature bent trumpet and puffed cheeks









Run DMC -one of Hip-Hop's pioneer groups - helping bring rap to the mainstream


Here’s some influential African-Americans from different styles:

Jimi Hendrix, Living Colour

Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie

B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy

Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye

Run-DMC, 2Pac, Dr. Dre

King of Pop
Michael Jackson