Panel Discussion with Willard Jenkins, Don Palmer, Gene Seymour, and Steve Monroe — Ain't But a Few of Us: Black Music Writers Tell Their Story — at Conn Ave

Upcoming Event
Saturday, February 4, 2023 - 3:00pm

Despite the fact that most of jazz's major innovators and performers have been African American, the overwhelming majority of jazz journalists, critics, and authors have been and continue to be white men. No major mainstream jazz publication has ever had a Black editor or publisher. Ain't But a Few of Us presents over two dozen candid dialogues with Black jazz critics and journalists ranging from Greg Tate, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Robin D. G. Kelley to Tammy Kernodle, Ron Welburn, and John Murph. They discuss the obstacles to access for Black jazz journalists, outline how they contend with the world of jazz writing dominated by white men, and point out that these racial disparities are not confined to jazz but hamper their efforts at writing about other music genres as well. Ain't But a Few of Us also includes an anthology section, which reprints classic essays and articles from Black writers and musicians such as LeRoi Jones, Archie Shepp, A. B. Spellman, and Herbie Nichols.

Willard Jenkins is the Artistic Director of the DC Jazz Festival as well as an arts consultant, producer, educator, and print and broadcast journalist. His writing has been featured in JazzTimes, Downbeat, Jazz Forum, Jazzwise, and many other publications. He is the coauthor of African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston, also published by Duke University Press. He is the writer of the multipart Billie Holiday documentary podcast No Regrets.

Don Palmer is a music arts and culture writer for numerous local and national publications, including Village Voice, NY Times, Musician and Downbeat. He is a NYS Arts Council program officer and director for performing arts presenters, museums, media and multi-media projects, and music and theater commissions. He served as Panelist for Maryland State Arts Council. Palmer worked in the press offices of NYC Mayor Koch and Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden.

Steve Monroe is a jazz journalist and writer. Steve began covering the music as a feature staff writer for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in 1976. After relocating to his hometown of Washington, D.C. in the early 1980s, Monroe continued to cover jazz for many publications, including the Capital Spotlight, Metropolitangton Afro-American, Eagle News, Capital Community News and others. In 2004 Monroe began writing a monthly jazz column for Capital Community News, JazzAvenues, which served as a platform for his continued coverage of the music, including well known stars passing through town as well as Washington-based musicians and vocalists, promoters, producers and club owners and venue operators that make performances possible.

Gene Seymour has written about music, movies, books, & even baseball for such publications as The Nation,, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the late, much-lamented BookForum. He spent thirty-one years in newspapers as editor, reporter, feature writer and critic. For the last eighteen of those years, he was a film critic and jazz columnist for Long Island Newsday. In 1995, he published a YA history, Jazz the Great American Art. He now lives in Philadelphia, 

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This event is free with first come, first served seating.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Non Fiction
Ain't But a Few of Us: Black Music Writers Tell Their Story By Willard Jenkins (Editor) Cover Image
By Willard Jenkins (Editor)
ISBN: 9781478019039
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Duke University Press - December 2nd, 2022