For certain, this presentation uses the music itself to tell most of its story—it’s no dry lecture. At heart, the program emphasizes that the blues, in origin, is an African-American music that essentially is a music of hope, that its original pioneers are nothing less than heroes and that the blues is the bedrock of American music. It is a celebration of and within itself. “We sing the blues, to lose our blues,” is truly the philosophy of the music as well as of T.J.’s Wheeler's programs. Audiences will learn to make a myriad of interdisciplinary connections with history, social studies, English and math as well as music. You'll also learn how to positively channel your own angst and blues into music, creative writing and other art forms. T.J. Wheeler is a treasure of American roots music, or better put, a living, one-man juke joint! He performs his gumbo of blues, jazz, ragtime and more on a wide variety of instruments, including the seven-string guitar, ukulele, tenor banjo, diddley bow, tap percussion, nitty-gritty vocals and kazoo! All ages.
Noted historian Hari Jones, curator and assistant director of the African-American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum, will talk about the contributions of a secret African descent organization called “Lincoln’s Loyal League” to the union war effort. Jones is a dynamic and compelling speaker, an award-winning author and a contributor to the PBS documentary "Lincoln at Gettysburg." The presentation is part of the MU Libraries hosting of the American Library Association's traveling exhibition "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" at the MU Law Library from September 17-October 31.