Jazz in the Fight for Civil Rights Performance Set for Iowa Wesleyan University

Mount Pleasant, Iowa: January 23, 2018 – Iowa Wesleyan University welcomes the live performance and presentation of Jazz in the Fight for Civil Rights featuring Dr. Damani Phillips, Michael Jarvey, Blake Shaw and Jim Dreier.

During the Civil Rights movement, many musicians joined African-Americans in using their musical voice as a catalyst in demanding change in America. While popular music artists such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and James Brown were more overt in voicing their opposition to the status quo through their music, many overlook the more subtle sonic contributions that jazz musicians made to this righteous cause. Through a combination of live performance, spoken remarks and a visual presentation, this unique program will highlight three of the more prevalent examples of jazz music’s alignment with the African-American fight for civil rights and the backstory behind their creation.

Dr. Damani Philips is a native of Pontiac, MI, where he began playing saxophone at the age of 10. He currently serves as associate professor of jazz studies and African-American studies at the University of Iowa, where he teaches applied jazz saxophone, directs jazz combos and teaches courses in African-American music, African-American Culture, jazz education and improvisation. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from DePaul University (Chicago) and The University of Kentucky in classical saxophone; and a second Master of Music degree in jazz studies from Wayne State University (Detroit). Phillips completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in jazz studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009; becoming one of the first African-Americans in the country to do so.

The performance is set for February 10, 2018 at 7 pm on Iowa Wesleyan’s campus in University Chapel and the concert is made possible by the Haselmeyer Foundation dedicated to the arts.

Iowa Wesleyan University – As Southeast Iowa’s regional comprehensive university, Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.