Black History Month Events

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In February, the Museum focuses its attention on a specific African-American root or offshoot of rock and roll. Events include free performances by local and national groups, film screenings, lectures, and intimate evenings of conversation, all celebrating the traditions of blues, soul, rhythm & blues and gospel. Since 1996, performers have included Robert Lockwood, Jr., The Temptations, Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Mavis Staples, Take 6, Al Green, the Ohio Players and the Manhattans.


Complete schedule of events is below

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate national Black History Month with a new exhibit Jammin’, Jazzin’ & Jivin’: Jazz on Film and a month-long FREE film series inspired by the exhibition.  Jammin’, Jazzin’ & Jivin’ is open now and the film series will kick-off on Wednesday, February 12. During the month, Sean Jones, Artistic Director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, will join in a conversation about rock and roll’s roots in jazz with the Rock Hall’s Vice President of Education and Public Programs Lauren Onkey and John Kisch, founder and director of the Separate Cinema Archive and organizer of the Jammin’, Jazzin’ and Jivin’ exhibit.

The exhibit, Jammin’, Jazzin’ & Jivin’: Jazz on Film features 27 posters spanning nearly 70 years of jazz-related cinema. These promotional posters are works of art in themselves.  Jammin’, Jazzin’ & Jivin’: Jazz on Film helps illustrate the connection between jazz and its close relatives -- rhythm and blues, boogie-woogie – and how these genres found audiences in the African American community and soon after - worldwide. Numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees including Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole,  Bessie Smith and Quincy Jones are featured.

From the advent of talking pictures, jazz music was rich source of material for the film industry. In films made by major studios and independents, in full-length features and one-reel shorts, jazz was often presented to exclusively black audiences. These films are, in some cases, the only moving images we have of some of these artists. In the era of modern Hollywood, jazz is often the back story in a biographic film of a legendary figure, like Charlie Parker or Billie Holiday.


Series Schedule

Stay tuned for upcoming events.

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