NMAAM'S BLACK MUSIC MONTH EXTRAVAGANZA

The Black Music Month celebrations surrounding the official dedication of The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville last week were by all reports uniformly joyous. Numerous visitors described being overcome by emotion upon surveying the museum’s abundant exhibits.

The festivities kicked off on 6/17 with the Celebration of Legends Benefit Concert at Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium; honorees Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan and the Fisk Jubliee Singers received the Museum’s Rhapsody & Rhythm Award.

Juneteenth was the occasion, fittingly enough, for the dedication, accompanied by a State of Black Music Summit that saw industry luminaries and other movers of culture engaging in a frank and freewheeling discussion. The rapture ramped up with a huge block party. NMAAM exceeded its fundraising goals on behalf of such programs and initiatives as Nothing to Something, Fine Tuning Music Master Series, Music Legends & Heroes, The Emerging Artist Series and Sips & Stanzas.

“While we celebrate Black music every day inside the walls of the museum, being able to take a moment to honor legends, review where the industry is today and celebrate our museum was so important to the museum and our staff,” said NMAAM VP of Brand and Partnerships Tuwisha Rogers-Simpson. “There are a lot of people who helped these events come together, but each of our sponsors played a pivotal role in making the week a smashing success.” Sony Music, the RIAA and Amazon were among the event’s many sponsors.

Stay tuned for our BMM conversation with NMAAM curator Dr. Steven Lewis and some inspiring words from Mother of Black Music Month Dyana Williams, both of whom you may spot in the above slideshow.

Here's one additional tidbit as your reward for reading to the bottom of this story: Joy Oladokun (whose superb new Amigo/Verve Forecast/Republic album, In Defense of My Own Happiness, is out now, with a deluxe version dropping on 7/9) performing her song "sunday" at NMAAM for Colbert.

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