Museum of Jazz 


African  American History

Seasonal Traveling Exhibit

        Jazz History  & Education

My Funny Valentine by Cali

Tribute To  Legendary  Jazz  - Ladysmith

Creative/Artistic African Americans: 

Sarah Vaughn: Sarah Lois Vaughn's contralto voice is considered an awesome instrument. She is said to have one of the most powerful influential and soulful voices of all time. One of the first musicians to work with her is Mr. Quincy Jones on "Misty" released in 1957.  She got her first break singing at the Apollo Theatre, in New York during Amateur Night! Her vocal range reaches many octaves (Ralph Cooper). In 1944, she joined Eckstine when he formed his own band which included Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. She recorded with Count Basie's Big-Band; and by 1946 earned the name Queen Soloist. Her first big hit was in 1947 with "Tenderly."  Ms. Vaughn died at the age of 66 from Lung Cancer at her home in LA.

Madame C J Walker: Was born Sarah Breedlove, on December 23, 1867 in Delta, LA. She was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, political and social activist. She is recorded as being the 1st female self-made millionaire.  Her marriage to Charles J Walker, Advertising Agent helped promote her products attracting vocalist, movie stars and performers across the country. In 1910 she opened a shop and in 1912 diversified to include face powder and cosmetics - a beauty-line for Jazz artists of color.  

McKinley Jones:  Was born on May 17, 1893 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is said, Jones enjoyed reading about mechanical and electrical engineering; and earned his engineering license at 20 years old; and served in the US Army repairing equipment.  The study of electronics afforded Jones an opportunity to develop a device to pair together "movement with sound" and did so for film. He later collaborated with Numero, making Jones the Founder of the US Thermo Control Company, helping to preserve Blood, Medicine and Food through Jones refrigeration discovery. Jones was Elected to the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers; developed 60 patents in refrigeration, sound, engines and X-ray machines; is winner of the National Medal of Technology; became an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1977; was honored by President George W. Bush for the National Medal of Technology. The ceremony was held at the White House Rose Garden. Jones & Numero Widows received their Awards. (ABC's The View; and

Left: The African Artifacts pictured here is believed to be from the inland country of Mali. It is an original hand-woven work of originality referred to as MUDCLOTH.  Its language and depiction of symbolism is a writing system passed down from generation to generation. Its colors are rich, true and natural. Hue, tone and shade are direct results of using actual mud. This tradition is done to preserve the culture and spiritual values of the people of the various country. The color of Mud cloth is rich being fermented using various hues of mud found in a particular country.  There are many uses of Mud cloth. 

BOTTOM LEFT: African Dancer Alex Harvell. His style of dance is reflective of traditional celebration among the people of Africa. The position of his legs and arms are symbolic in tradition of several countries with West African gestures.

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