Nashville’s new National Museum of African American Music’s mission is to showcase the central role African Americans have played in weaving the fabric of America’s soundtrack.
Nashville is a fitting home for the only museum in America with a surgical dedication to showcase the impact that African American music has had on the fabric of the country’s culture. Numerous African American musicians – including Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, the Fist Jubilee Singers and Little Richard, fine-tuned their early career trajectories while performing at various Nashville music venues.
Distinctive areas throughout the museum offer thematic presentations such as One Nation Under a Groove-featuring the story of R&B in post WWII America while the Rivers of Rhythm Pathway is graced with captivating interactive panels keyed to an animated timeline that links the evolution of Southern religious, blues and contemporary R&B and hip-hop genres.
Digging deep in to the evolution of the African American religious experience, Wade in the Water displays the evolution of religious music—from indigenous African music that survived through throughout slavery and evolved via African American spirituals and hymns with a pinnacle during the 1940s to 1960s “Golden Age of Gospel”.
The museum does a deft job connecting the dots to show how the influential gospel vocal groups influenced doo-wop, R&B and soul music.
In addition to dynamic multi-media displays, the venue offers a state-of-the-art performance hall to screen films, lectures and live stage concerts by local and international musicians.
This is just a sampler of the numerous captivating interactive displays that you will experience at the museum. And the NAAM Museum is conveniently located smack in the heart of Nashville, literally just steps away from the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame.