Back to all Events

A Night of Black Innovation in Music!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Suggested donation $20. Open to the public

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC) presents “A Night of Black Innovation”, the first of a series commemorating the ingenious cultural contributions of African Americans in America. “A Night of Black Innovation” kicks off the first event highlighting innovation in Black music on Saturday, September 21. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, VA.

The renowned infusions of Black artistry, creative expression, innovation, improvisation, and experimentation, are deeply embedded in the cultural landscape of American identity, tracing back to African origins. The revolutionary social commentary in Black music and culture is perceived globally, and perceptible in the chords and lyrics of American music today.

Produced by Jefferson School Director Andrea Douglas, Musician and Restaurateur Jay Pun, and Photographer, Producer Carol Ross, this extraordinary cultural event incorporates delectable food; a documentary short film produced and directed by Monty Ross; and live music performances featuring local artists Jamal MillnerIvan OrrMorwenna Lasko & Jay Pun, Dante Walker, Nathaniel StarYolonda Coles Jones, Jacob & Jen Tal, Renaissance Soul (Renaissance School‘s High School Music Ensemble) and others.

“American music as we know it, without its African influences, just wouldn’t exist,” says Jay Pun, a musician and music theorist.

“Black innovation is the foundation of this country,” echoes Carol Ross. “Its influence is deserving of the recognition of the inventions, contributions, and impact of Black people.”

Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker will present a lifetime achievement proclamation in honor of music theorist and logician Roland A. Wiggins, Mus.D — influential teacher to jazz legends John ColtraneYusef Lateef – FANA Music, Billy Taylor, as well as the late LeRoi Moore 1961-2008 and Rashawn Ross of Dave Matthews Band, and many others, for his innovative and adept contributions to excellence in music.

“There is a tremendously rich musical history in Charlottesville,” says Andrea Douglas. “Our intention is to celebrate and continue its legacy through education and awareness.”

Located in the Jefferson School City Center, The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s mission is to honor and preserve the rich heritage and legacy of the African-American community of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Virginia and to promote a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the contributions of African Americans and peoples of the Diaspora, locally, nationally, and globally.

  • Organizer Name: JSAAHC
  • Phone: (434) 260-8720
  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Type: Performance
  • Time: September 21, 2019 - 7:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Venue:JSAAHC Auditorium
  • Duration:120 Minutes (Approximately)
Jefferson Heritage African American Center © 2020. All Rights Reserved