Concert Shows Thread of Music in Black History

Article excerpt

Byline: EYDER PERALTA, The Times-Union

Befitting the hip-hop and the rap-heavy musical lineup about to take hold on Jacksonville over the next few days, Tuesday's The Journey: A Salute to Black History Month was a reminder of the strong threads that run through African-American music.

"It is in the realm of rhythm that we have always infused Africa in all we do," said Frederick Johnson, the show's narrator.

The concert at the Florida Theatre, a musical revue of sorts, began to show that: a simple rhythm on two jimbe drums, a blues song, a bebop swing, an Al Green song and one from Marvin Gaye. And of course, Otis Redding's (Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay.

It was a reminder, on the first day of Black History Month, that without performers like Robert Johnson and Redding, jazz, hip-hop and rock 'n' roll wouldn't exist.

It was also a reminder of the incredible talent pool this city has to offer: Paxson's SAS Honors Chorus was stunning in its performance of Soon Ah Will Be Done, an old African spiritual. …