MILLIGAN, Tenn. (March 12, 2021) — Milligan University, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Commission, welcomes musician, historian and educator Jonathan Blanchard for two virtual concerts this spring. Blanchard’s concerts use music and the arts to explore historical events and social issues. Both concerts are free and open to the public.
On Tuesday, March 16, at 6 p.m., Blanchard will perform “Spirituals to Hip Hop,” a musical journey celebrating African American music from its inception. Blanchard will explore how African American spirituals serve as the inspiration for other musical genres, such as gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, funk and hip hop.
Blanchard also will perform “Music that Fueled the Civil Rights Movement” on Tuesday, April 6, at 6 p.m. The concert and lecture will show how iconic music from African American musicians like Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye was an essential component of the Civil Rights Movement.
Both performances will be a blend of concert and lecture with a live Q&A session. These interactive programs aim to be educational, entertaining, engaging and will be presented with a full band accompaniment.
Blanchard received his bachelor’s degree in commercial music and a master’s degree in music education from Tennessee State University. As an advocate of arts education, Blanchard conducts workshops and residencies in schools and colleges, celebrating African American music as well as the artistry, history and message of spirituals. He also has performed concerts showcasing his original works at colleges, churches, festivals and performing arts venues throughout the United States. Blanchard is a Lincoln Center Teaching Artist and serves as a teaching artist for the Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama Arts Commission.
Links for attending both concerts can be found at milligan.edu/diversity prior to each event.