How Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement Intertwine


saxophone | Ljupco


Jazz is the low moan of a saxophone, the growl of a trumpet, or staccato notes on a snare drum. Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) describes the art form as “a mingling of the musical expressions of all the people who came to the United States, by choice or by force; people from Africa, Europe, Latin America, as well as people who were already living in the U.S. Jazz was created by mixing together music from field chants and spirituals, to African rhythms and folk songs.”

Jazz at Lincoln Center produces a year-round schedule of performance, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. Renowned jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is the artistic director.

For Black History Month, the JALC lesson plans, Jazz and Democracy, Jazz in the Civil Rights Era, and Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance, are examples of materials JALC has made available to NAfME members.


jazz2 | bvalente


Jazz at Lincoln Center You Tube videos—Watch Jazz Legends Practice Their Craft

Miles Davis, Freedom Jazz Dance

 John Coltrane, Alabama

Louis Armstrong, The Real Ambassador


Watch More:

Cannonball Adderly, Work Song

Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Over in the Glory Land

Ray Charles, Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lift Every Voice and Sing (with Lyrics)

Ella Jenkins, Wade in the Water


Roz Fehr,  NAfME Communications Content Developer, February 12, 2015 © National Association for Music Education (