Solomon Popoli Linda (1909 -1962)

Composer, lyricist, choreographer and Countertenor Solomon Popoli Linda, a Zulu, was born in 1909 in Pomeroy, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. While he was musically oriented, Linda was also was inspired to perform after hearing a recording of the Hampton Institute graduate, Orpheus McAdoo, who was then … Read MoreSolomon Popoli Linda (1909 -1962)

Cedric Burnside (1978- )

Blues percussionist, guitarist, composer, lyricist Cedric Burnside was born on August 26, 1978, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Calvin Jackson, a Blues percussionist, and Linda Burnside from Holly Springs, Mississippi, where Cedric was reared. He grew up in his grandfather’s home, the legendary North Mississippi hill … Read MoreCedric Burnside (1978- )

Julius Edward McCullough (1943- )

Composer, Clarinetist, Conductor, Political Activist, Educator Julius Edward McCullough was born on May 31, 1943, in the segregated Norfolk Community Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia, to Julius Arthur McCullough, a vocalist from Ransomville, North Carolina, and Bettye Frances Farmer McCullough. They had two children.  McCullough was introduced … Read MoreJulius Edward McCullough (1943- )

Billy Taylor (William Edward Taylor, Jr.) (1921-2010)

Billy Taylor was an African American jazz pianist, composer, recording artist, educator, and broadcaster. Born in Greenville, North Carolina on July 24, 1921, Taylor was one of two children of William, Sr., a dentist and Antoinette, a schoolteacher. When Taylor was young his family moved … Read MoreBilly Taylor (William Edward Taylor, Jr.) (1921-2010)

Maceo Pinkard (1897-1962)

Maceo Pinkard was born on June 27, 1897 in Bluefield, West Virginia. He was an American lyricist and music composer that emerged from the Harlem Renaissance. Some of his best known works include “Sweet Georgia Brown,” now the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, and the Broadway musical, Liza. After his death … Read MoreMaceo Pinkard (1897-1962)

James Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Mostly known as the “Father of the Stride Piano,” James Johnson transformed music during the Harlem Renaissance.  With his form of composition and performance style, he altered ragtime into a more ambitious musical presentation which incorporated elements of early jazz. Over his lifetime, Johnson would record over 400 … Read MoreJames Price Johnson (1894-1955)

Carrie Burton Overton (1888-1975)

Carrie Burton is best known as the first African American to attend the University of Wyoming.  Her parents—mother Katie Burton and stepfather Tom Price—were both born into slavery, but Katie moved to Wyoming Territory in the 1887 and Tom retired there after being discharged from the 9th … Read MoreCarrie Burton Overton (1888-1975)

Harry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954)

Composer, performer, musical critic/essayist, advocate, and teacher H. Lawrence Freeman was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1869 to Lemuel Freeman and Agnes Sims-Freeman.  Initially self-taught, Freeman’s musical abilities were apparent at a young age. At 12, he started and performed in a boy’s vocal quartet.  … Read MoreHarry Lawrence Freeman (1869-1954)