From Jazz to Hip Hop
Last night, The One Sun Lion Ra and DJ Brother Jamar returned to our library to do a program for Upper Darby's Big Read. The book for the Big Read is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, a classic of the Harlem Renaissance era. We brought Ra and Jamar back to talk about the connections between jazz and hip hop, and about 40 people of all ages came out to hear them.
Ra and Jamar approached the topic from a variety of angles, so they kept it interesting! Ra talked about some jazz performers (with help from a vintage hip hop record), freestyled over Jamar's mix of jazz music, and talked a little history. Jamar played some hip hop songs and then showed where the samples came from, and also did a contest where he played the original and asked audience members to name the artist and song that sampled it. Ra finished up the presentation with a performance and then Jamar showed people how to spin records on his turntables. I hope we can find a reason to have them back again soon!!