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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Engaging the Next Generation

Many rhythm and blues musicians have dedicated significant time to the formal education of the next generation of artists. Nat Dove, a blues pianist of international renown, founded Bakersfield Blues Preservation Society in California, and offers “Blues in the Schools,” a program covering history, mathematics, geography, language, and other skills. He also lectures at universities and colleges nationally.

Fernando Jones, a guitar and bass player, is the director of the Columbia College Chicago Blues Ensemble. In addition to teaching advanced performance skills to college students, he also developed “Blues Kids,” a multicultural, interdisciplinary artist-in-residence music program designed to improve literacy through music.

In Memphis, the Stax Music Academy uses music to mentor young people. The Academy provides music education and performance opportunities to students with the goal of enhancing their leadership skills and academic abilities in order to inspire them to become active and productive community members.

The Rhythm and Blues program is produced in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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