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Sat, 05.03.1919

The National Association of Negro Musicians is Formed


*The National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) was formed on this date in 1919.  They are one of the oldest organizations in the United States dedicated to the preservation, encouragement, and advocacy of all genres of the music of African Americans.  

NANM started in Washington, D.C., at a temporary initial conference of “Negro” musicians under the leadership of Henry Grant and Nora Holt.  Along with the Chicago Music Association, its first national convention was held in Chicago, Illinois, in the same year. The organization is dedicated to encouraging an inclusive musical culture throughout the country. Members lend their support and influence; educators and professional musicians share their musical knowledge; amateurs and enthusiasts grow in their musical enjoyment, and people of all ages come together to share and participate in the musical experience.  

Since its inception, NANM has provided encouragement and support to thousands of Black musicians, many of whom have become widely respected figures in music and have contributed significantly to American culture and music history. The organization has awarded scholarships to many talented young musicians throughout the country.  Some recipients include Marian Anderson (the first scholarship award recipient in 1919), William L. Dawson, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Warren George Wilson, James Frazier, Julia Perry, Grace Bumbry, Leon Bates, Joseph Joubert, Awadagin Pratt, and many others.  

Over the years, many international personalities have been presented in performance, including Lena Horne, Todd Duncan, John W. Work, R. Nathaniel Dett, Marian Anderson, Edward Boatner, Camille Nickerson, Clarence Cameron White, Etta Moten, Betty Allen, Natalie Hinderas, Adele Addison, Kermit Moore, Simon Estes, George Shirley, Robert McFerrin, Jessye Norman, Carl Rossini Diton, Sanford Allen, Derek Lee Ragin, the Uptown String Quartet, Esther Hinds, Ruby Hinds, Wilhelmina Fernandez, the Hinds Sisters, William Warfield, Benjamin Matthews, the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, Harolyn Blackwell, Billy Taylor, Delphin and Romain, Greg Hopkins, Martina Arroyo, and Nina Simone.  

Clinicians and lecturers of note include Carl Diton, Warner Lawson, Frederick Hall, Kemper Harreld, Wendell Whalum, Eileen Southern, Doris Evans McGinty, Alain Locke, Sylvia Olden Lee, James Cleveland, Raoul Abdul, Matthew Kennedy, Geneva Handy Southall, Sowah Mensah, Willis Patterson, Roland Carter, Brazeal Dennard, Robert Harris, and Shirley Verrett.  There are several regional chapters of the national organization. NANM hosts a national convention annually in various cities. 

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