Rinzler Memorial Concert: Celebrating Worth Long’s Legacy

Worth Long at the 1974 Smithsonian Folklife Festival © 2005 Roland L. Freeman

Each year, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival presents a special evening concert to honor both its co-founder Ralph Rinzler (1934-1994) and a key person with whom he collaborated.

The 2012 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert pays tribute to folklorist, cultural worker, and activist Worth Long, whose work spans five decades and an incredible range. His accomplishments include a GRAMMY nomination (with Ralph Rinzler and Barry Lee Pearson) for Roots of Rhythm and Blues: The Robert Johnson Era (1993), a recording with Columbia Records that grew out of a Smithsonian project of the same name, and a Peabody Award for Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, a radio history of the Civil Rights Movement in five Southern cities. He has been recognized by the National Black Arts Festival’s Living Legends Award and the Smithsonian’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Saturday, June 30, 6 p.m., Panorama Room stage

This special concert features presentations and performances by:

  • Roland Freeman, photographer
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon, composer, songleader, scholar, producer
  • Rising Star Fife & Drum Band (North Mississippi)
  • Sweet Heaven Kings, United House of Prayer for All People, Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)

Read more about Worth Long’s legacy in a profile written by Dr. Emily Crosby (SUNY Geneseo).