Indiana University’s Archives of African American Music and Culture announced a new online music initiative today, furthering its mission of black arts education and promotion. Black Grooves, launched on June 1 to kick off Black Music Month 2006, is a new website that provides information on new releases and reissues in gospel, blues, jazz, funk, soul, rhythm & blues, hip hop and other popular genres, as well as classical music composed or performed by black artists. An accompanying free newsletter will be available to subscribers and also distributed to various music-related email distribution lists.
“This is yet another way the AAAMC is reaching out not only to the scholarly community, but to the public at large,” says Archives Director Dr. Portia Maultsby. “A site like Black Grooves provides African American music labels with a focal point for promotion while providing the public with the critical insights of our reviewers.”
Black Grooves’ target audience includes students as well as scholars, collectors, librarians, and anyone else seeking information on the latest black music releases. The site features reviews of especially noteworthy discs (CDs, DVDs, 12-in., etc.) with special attention given to historical reissues and releases by small independent and foreign labels that aren’t often covered in the mainstream media.
“While there are a number of music review sites devoted to specific genres, our approach is much more comprehensive, covering all black music and artists” according to Brenda Nelson-Strauss, the AAAMC’s Head of Collections and editor of Black Grooves. “As a librarian and collector, I am constantly searching for new releases and reissues of black popular and gospel music, and much of this is released on very small, hard-to-find labels with limited distribution. Through the website and compilation of a monthly newsletter, we hope others will benefit from our extensive research, and that the ultimate result will be greater representation of black music in the classroom and library.”
Recording labels can include their new releases in Black Grooves by emailing, faxing or mailing press releases and purchasing information to the AAAMC. Promotional copies of discs are requested for full-length reviews. These recordings will also be added to the Archives of African American Music and Culture (www.indiana.edu/~aaamc), a permanent collection of photographs, scores, videos, oral histories and recordings dedicated to the research and preservation of Black culture.
For more information, or to send press releases and promos, contact Brenda Nelson-Strauss, Black Grooves editor, at:
Phone: 812-855-8547; Fax: 812-856-0333
Archives of African American Music and Culture
Smith Research Center, Suite 180-181
2805 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47408-8547