Forty colorful folk-style illustrations of many 20th-century blues giants, as well as other legendary musicians whose styles were influenced by these pioneers, are on display at the A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center.
Each portrait presents a brief history of the musicians’ lives and their significant achievements. These pieces by artists Ty the Portrait Guy and George Borum are meant to inspire audiences to delve into the rich history of the blues and its masters, savor a century of extraordinary recordings, and “let the spirit move them” during the many concerts there are concert opportunities to hear today’s blues masters.
The blues is a musical genre and musical form originating in the South around the 1860s by African Americans from roots in African American work songs and spirituals. The blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, shouts, chants, and simple rhyming narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll, is characterized by the call and response pattern.
“Blues Pioneers and Their Progeny” exhibit features musical giants like Bo Diddley, Louis Armstrong, BB King, Robert Johnson, Duke Ellington, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, Elvis, Chubby Checker, Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt , Buddy Guy, Bessie Smith, Koko Taylor, Freddy King, James Brown and many more. The music can be heard at the museum by scanning a QR code or listening to the recordings at the museum.
The exhibition will continue until September 30.
The A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center is located at 1013 NW Seventh Avenue in Gainesville, on the former property of pioneering Alachua County educator A. Quinn “Prof” Jones, who was director of the Union Academy (1921-1923) and Lincoln High School. (1923-1957). The museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 and renovated by the Gainesville Community Reinvestment Agency and with funding from Wild Spaces and Public Places in 2017.
The A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center is a cultural facility under the direction of the City of Gainesville’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Museum hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and during special events. For more information, call (352) 334-2010.
Carol Richardson is Museum Coordinator for the A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center.
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