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Black History Month: Vintage Jazz and Blues Concert

Sonia Goetschius and Katie Marr

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On February 3, the Petaluma Museum Association and Petaluma Blacks for Community Development kicked off their series of celebrations for Black History Month with the Vintage Jazz and Blues Concert. This was the fifth year the concert has been put on in partnership with the annual Black History Month Exhibit. This year it featured Black athletes, at the Historical Petaluma Museum — a place which made even the impromptu audience sing-a-long pleasing to the ear.

The evening began with a reception of pasta and drinks, provided by many local merchants such as Sprouts, Petaluma Market, and Preferred Sonoma Caterers. The museum became packed, on both the first and second floor. Though the exhibit was not open yet, the venue was decorated with posters about the black athletes featured in the exhibit — each biography about the athletes was engaging and extremely informative.

After Mayor Glass awarded Petaluma Blacks for Community Development with the proclamation officiating February as Black History Month for the city of Petaluma, the concert began. The local jazz ensemble, The doRiaN Mode, featured pianist and cornet player Bob Johns, saxophone player David Scott, percussionist Tony Blake, and Dorian Bartley, who sings and plays upright bass. Bartley emphasized throughout the concert how she expresses her biracial identity through her music, which truly shows through her passionate performance. Bartley’s father is also featured in the exhibit, which added a more personal touch to the concert.

Overall, the concert featured a wide variety of jazz — from Latin-esque songs to classic Duke Ellington, all of which were performed with equal gusto and artistry. The group added their own twist on everything they performed; perhaps the most pleasant part being the individualism of each of the artists. While they performed together wonderfully, the concert featured Bartley’s velvety voice, along with many solos from Blake, Scott, and Johns on a variety of instruments throughout the night.

The highlight of the evening, while surprising, was the crowd sing-along to “The Negro National Anthem.” Both empowering and hopeful, the anthem unified the audience to remind us of the struggles and triumphs Black History Month celebrates.

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The student news site of Casa Grande High School
Black History Month: Vintage Jazz and Blues Concert