Eastern North Carolina has produced some of the most transformative figures in the history of jazz, gospel and popular music. Among them are internationally renowned jazz pianists and composers Thelonious Monk from Rocky Mount and Billy Taylor from Greenville.
African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina celebrates people, places and events in Eastern North Carolina, showcasing the music that has been part of family, church, and community for generations.
On Wednesday, Dec. 11 you can listen to Bill Myers of Wilson, leader of the nationally recognized band The Monitors since 1957, play and discuss the legacies of musicians from Wilson who also taught in Wilson County Schools. Myers enjoyed a long career as an educator, first as music teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. Mr. Myers also worked as a professional R&B and jazz musician, playing the saxophone and keyboards. Roberta Flack was the band’s first lead vocalist. Myers is also a recipient of a 2014 North Carolina Heritage Award.
Also playing and sharing his experience as a musician from Eastern N.C. is Dick Knight of Kinston. A trumpet player, Mr. Knight, along with Nat Jones, Levi Raspberry, and the brothers Melvin and Maceo Parker, were influential members of the James Brown Band. And they were all from Kinston, N.C.!
Guidebook authors Beverly Patterson and Michelle Lanier will also be on hand to talk about what makes this guidebook special. Project director and co-author Beverly Patterson is the author of Sound of the Dove: Singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptist Churches, and former Director of the N.C. Folklife Institute. Michelle Lanier uses her background in folklore and oral history to direct the N.C. African American Heritage Commission and African American Heritage Cultural Tourism program at the N.C. Arts Council. Titus Brooks Heagins, a documentary and fine art photographer whose work is included in the collections of several state, national, and international museums, will also be on hand.
African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina is published by the North Carolina Arts Council and distributed by UNC Press. Books will be available at the event.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 7:30-9:00 pm
Where: Quail Ridge Books
3522 Wade Ave, Raleigh, NC 27607
Hope to see you there!