Black History Month Jazz Concert: Harlem Renaissance feel

FAMU jazz band playing during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation on Jan. 12
Photo credit: Joshua Lowder


The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Music Department will host a “Coffee House” Jazz Concert in celebration of Black History Month.

Themed around the Harlem Renaissance, the concert will feature a special treat for those who love music. The Harlem Renaissance was an era of Black social, intellectual, and artistic expression that took place in Harlem in the 1920s and ‘30s. During that time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement,” named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke.

The jazz band will be playing combinations of jazz, pop, and swing centered around the Cotton Club era of music.

According to sophomore band member Cori Bostic, the jazz concert is one of the biggest concerts of the year and the Harlem Renaissance theme is perfect for Black History Month.

“We have a variety of music lined up for audience to come and partake in this wonderful night of jazz and history,” Bostic said. “This is going to be our biggest concert of the year and Harlem Renaissance is the right era especially during this month and I encourage people to come out on and enjoy.”

Another vital element the concert will feature is dance, which is another form of musical expression. According to the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, “jazz music thrived in South Side clubs like the Savoy Ballroom, where black Chicagoans flocked to dance” and “jazz dance was born out of the meeting of African-American vernacular dance with ballet, musical theater, and social dance styles from the Charleston to the Frug.”

Tallahassee Community College music student Eugene Moore Jr. summarized jazz as the sound of African-American culture and essence of blackness.

“Jazz is the sound of African-American culture,” Moore said. “It’s unpredictable nature, but mesmerizing sound directly mirrors the diversity of thought and creativity that is the fiber and essence of blackness.”

Music is an expressive and interpretative form of art that tells a story using various rhythmic patterns, inflections, and tempos.

Arrangements are crafted much like a drama using a bold opening to capture the attention of the audience and draw them in.

Patrick Dalton, a senior kinesiology student, who enjoys listening to jazz shared his thoughts on the jazz concert.

“The tones and melodies of the music is what I like about it,” Dalton said. “You just have to be smooth and let the music takeover.”

“Coffee House” is sure to be a concert full of history, knowledge, and culture that will leave the audience impressed with the outstanding efforts of the music and fine arts department.

The concert will take place on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Foster-Tanner Band Rehearsal Hall and this event is open to the public for all to enjoy.