Thursday, February 21 • 9:00am - 10:25am
Plenary I: St. Louis Black Musicians Speak: Our Lives Matter!

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Limited Capacity seats available

Shared notes for this session: https://goo.gl/M1Rd85

St. Louis has a long, rich music history that many talented musicians have helped build. The first presentation of two (20 mins.), given by Therese Dickman (SIU-Edwardsville), will highlight stories of selected St. Louis area black jazz musicians who participated in the oral history project of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive at SIUE since the 1980s. Included among them are Eddie Randle (Miles Davis' first band leader); Singleton Palmer, tuba player and band leader during the city's popular Gaslight Square era; Robert Carter, a former board member of the St. Louis Black Musicians' Union; and Willie Akins, tenor saxophone player who set a high performance standard for other city musicians. Photos and selected audio clips will be shared in a PowerPoint presentation.

Brian Owens, Soul of Ferguson musician, will follow as a local guest speaker interviewed by Rob Deland (VanderCook College of Music) (40-45 mins). Owens is a professional music who lives in Ferguson, MO and witnessed much of the unrest in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown in 2014. Owens organized a music performance with area musicians in an effort to begin the healing process and to unify Ferguson residents. He also created a music CD, the Soul of Ferguson, and composed all of its compositions. Well respected, Owens has been involved in initiatives for youth including the Unison program with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Owens will share his unique perspective that can offer insights and hope for others facing similar situations in their cities. The session will be audio and videorecorded for the MLA Oral History Project and to commemorate the St. Louis MLA Conference devoted to diversity and inclusion. A Q & A session (5 - 10 mins.) will conclude the session.


Therese Dickman

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Brian Owens

Ferguson, MO

Rob Deland

VanderCook College of Music

Thursday February 21, 2019 9:00am - 10:25am
Grand Ballroom EF

Attendees (175)