In honor of Black History Month, I decided to follow my book’s guidance to “be curious and learn more about others” and research African – American musicians from Queens, New York.
I’ve always known that Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald, 50 Cents, LL Cool J, and Nicki Minaj called Queens “home,” but this homework assignment taught me many important history lessons.
Here’s what I learned about Queens’ abundant cultural legacy:
Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie , Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge,
Mercer Ellington, Thomas “Fats” Waller , Lena Horne, Clark Terry, Cannonball Adderley,
Nat Adderley, Jimmy Heath, Milt Hinton, Illinois Jacquet, Oliver Nelson, Cootie Williams
Wild Bill Davis, Clarence Williams, Eva Taylor, Jimmy Heath. James P. Johnson, John Coltrane, Fess Williams, Scott Joplin,* Billy Holiday, Milt Jackson, James P. Johnson, Ben Webster, Reverend Run, Russell Simmons, Nicki Minaj, Nas, Curtis Jackson( known as 50 Cent), Run-D.M.C., A Tribe Called Quest, L.L. Cool J., MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Marlon “Markey Marl,”
Click on these links to learn more:
The Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Corona – Elmhurst
Louis Armstrong Archives, Black American Heritage Foundation Music History Archive at York College of the City of New York, the Black Spectrum Theatre and many other Arts centers. Festivals and Tours
* Scott Joplin is buried in Calvary Cemetery.
My “Learned -It -In Queens ‘ Lesson” – “The stories that connect us are hiding in plain sight”
Julienne B. Ryan is the author of “The Learned – It – In Queens Communications Playbook – Winning Against Digital Distraction” Learn more about her work at www. jryanpartners.com.