Celebrate International Jazz Day in Iowa City!

To celebrate International Jazz Day, the City of Literature and the Iowa City Public Library are joining to present “Jazz in The Fight for Civil Rights: Jazz as Activist Music.” This free event will be held at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

During the Civil Rights movement, many musicians joined African-Americans in using their musical voice as a catalyst in demanding change in America. Many overlook the more subtle sonic contributions that jazz musicians made to this cause. Through live performance, spoken remarks and a visual presentation, this unique program will highlight three of the more prevalent examples of jazz music’s alignment with the African-American fight for civil rights and the backstory behind their creation.

The program was conceived and will be led by Dr. Damani Phillips with the University of Iowa School of Music. Phillips, a saxophonist, will be joined by drummer Jim Dreier, Pianist Steve Shanley, and bassist Blake Shaw.

Through a combination of live performance, spoken remarks and a visual presentation, this unique program will highlight three of the more prevalent examples of jazz music’s alignment with the African-American fight for civil rights and the backstory behind their creation.

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