Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers

How Mexican and Cuban Music Influenced the Blues

The pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton once told an ethnomusicologist that real jazz tunes needed "tinges of Spanish."
DJ Kool Herc speaks during a press conference about the fate of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, a building considered by many to be the birthplace of hip hop on January 15, 2008 in the Bronx

The Rec Room Party Where Hip-Hop Was Born

Thinking quickly and reading the dance floor, an innovative DJ began playing the funkiest parts of every record.
Linda Martell

The First Black Woman to Perform at the Grand Ole Opry

Linda Martell made the switch from R&B to country music in the late 1960s. Her star then shined on country's biggest stage.
Charles Mingus

The Newport Rebels and Jazz as Protest

In 1960 a group of jazz musicians organized an alternative to the Newport Jazz Festival, which they saw as too pop and too white.
Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival in 2019

The Gospel According to Kanye West

On the making of gospel music, from Gospel Pearls to Jesus Is King.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why MLK Believed Jazz Was the Perfect Soundtrack for Civil Rights

Jazz, King declared, was the ability to take the “hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.”