Author Archives: Sabrina Vachris

Black Music Month

It’s Black Music Month! June is a month for all Americans to focus on and celebrate the creativity and influence of black artists in music and culture. 

From the anthems chanted at protests, to classic rock and modern Jazz, black musicians and artists have influenced every facet of music and culture in America.

Formerly known as African American Music Appreciation Month, Black Music Month was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to honor the impact black music has in our society and culture in America. 

Though our specialty at KJEM 89.9 FM is Jazz, which was created by African American artists over 100 years ago, we also want to point out other genres created by black musicians: Gospel, Folk, Blues, R&B, Hip hop/Rap, and Rock and Roll (among others).

At KJEM, we focus on the music. Black Music Month is a way to highlight and celebrate black music. And, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement, it is also a timely month to learn more about the racial history of the music and radio industry, from Jim-Crow era segregation of “white radio” from “black radio” to the role radio played in the Civil Rights movement.

American music (and radio) would not be what it is today without the enormous contribution of black artists, musicians, performers, DJ’s, emcees, radio station owners, producers and distributors. 

KJEM is proud to be a member of the African American Public Radio Consortium and offers their programs Cafe Jazz (Fridays at 7:00PM) and Cool Jazz Countdown (Sundays from 7:00PM to 10:00PM).

Listen to KJEM on 89.9 FM on the Palouse, online at KJEMJazz.org or on the Northwest Public Broadcasting app. You can also tell your Smart Speaker to “Play K-J-E-M”.

Free Online Jazz History Classes!

Do you know a young person who loves music and wants to learn more about it?  The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is offering FREE educational online courses for grades 4-12 throughout the summer.  The courses will cover jazz, it’s history, and interesting tidbits that make jazz the very special art form it is today. This is a fun way to celebrate Black Music Month this June. Students will learn from a diverse group of world-class musicians about one of the genres African American artists created.  For more information, visit the website link below:  https://hancockinstitute.org/jazz-in-america-summer-sessions/