An Exciting New Museum On The Horizon

African American Music Appreciation Month is the perfect opportunity to talk about the new museum that is on the horizon.


The National Museum of African American Music is scheduled to open in 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be the only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of the different types of music that was created, influenced, and inspired by African-Americans.

Proposed in 2002 by members of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, a task force was organized to determine the feasibility of such a project. The task force concluded that Nashville needed a place that could attract more African American conventions, as well as visitors from all backgrounds.

The museum will cover 50 genres of music, including Southern religious, blues, hip-hop, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, call-and-response spirituals, work songs, gospel, etc.

Black Music Month began in 1979 and was organized by Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams. They convinced President Jimmy Carter to host a reception to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of black music. Since then, Black Music Month is celebrated with events across the country. In 2009, President Barack Obama designated June as African American Music Appreciation Month.

The National Museum of African American Music will definitely be a welcome addition, not only to Nashville residents, but to visitors throughout the United States and the world.  Even though there is not a physical building in existence, the National Museum of African American Music has developed programs that served over 8,000 people in 2016.

Although the opening of the National Museum of African American Music is two years away, I am excited about the prospect of having over 50 genres of music, which African-Americans influenced, in one place.

My contribution to the history of jazz music is When Grandmama Sings. When I visit with students I talk to them about the origins of jazz and the various types of jazz artists. They eagerly listen to the excerpts of songs and discuss the story that is being told through the words.

The National Museum of African American Music will further open students minds to the contributions made by black Americans to the musical tapestry of the world.

For information: When Grandmama Sings