If your go-to jam this month is Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen,” some might say you’re approaching Black Music Month all wrong.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter christened June as Black Music Month. Nowadays, President Obama proclaims the annual celebration as African-American Music Appreciation Month. The verdict’s still out on whether that includes a song that idealizes women who cook cocaine.
Black Music Month is about recognizing the legacy of black music, which includes greats like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Miles Coltrane and James Brown. It’s their works that inform so much of the music and culture we experience today.
“It’s more important today than ever before; a reminder of what a great art form black music is,” Black Music Month co-founder Kenny Gamble told Billboard. “Our legacy and present contributions still encourage those of future generations. It’s a cultural expression of multiple American genres; the basis for most other forms of music.”
Get in on the celebration:
Check out the acts of these four Charlotte music artists.
Harvey Cummings is practically a household name in the local jazz scene. This saxophonist, pianist and songwriter is a Charlotte native who seduces ears for The Sol Fusion Band and his own band, The Harvey Cummings Project. Catch him next at the Gantt Center for its A Journey Through Jazz program on June 27.
I first heard the sweet lulls of Schroeder’s voice at a Raw Artists showcase earlier this year at Tremont Music Hall. She was promoting her new album, “For My Artist Child,” and I left feeling like my soul had been cleansed. After a show in Washington, D.C., she’ll return home to perform at the Old Town Farmer’s Market in Rock Hill on June 25.
After watching this guy’s “Superheroes” video on YouTube, how could you not be charmed? The few songs on his Soundcloud aren’t enough to satisfy your thirst for electric soul, but fortunately, he’s working on a new album. Catch his sexy R&B act at this month’s edition of Soul-cial Sundays at Petra’s in Plaza Midwood on June 28.
Dukes is one of the sultry hosts of the weekly event R&B Live. She’s got a great stage presence, and, more importantly, her voice is classic soul. Catch her on the mic on Thursday nights at R&B Live at Studio Movie Grille.
Photos by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP and courtesy of the featured artists.