Juneteenth 2020

June 16, 2020 3:29 pm Published by

Juneteenth 2020

Freedom Rider Rip Patton and guitarist Geary Moore

On Friday, June 19 at 8pm CDT, the Nashville Jazz Workshop “From The Archives” will present the first of a special two-part program in honor of Juneteenth and Black Music Month.

In February 2011 Nashville native, Mississippi Freedom Rider, and jazz drummer Dr. Rip Patton appeared in the Jazz Cave along with a band led by guitarist Geary Moore and including bassist John Birdsong and pianist Joe Davidian. The occasion was the anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Rides, in which Dr. Patton was a participant. This moving, informative, and swinging program included a presentation on Nashville’s history in the Civil Rights Movement and the Mississippi Freedom Rides.

Rip Patton was a student at TSU (then Tennessee A&I) in 1961 when he participated as a  Freedom Rider and was jailed in Mississippi. Along with other students he was expelled from TSU, years later receiving an honorary doctorate from that institution. In the meantime he lived in Los Angeles and worked as a jazz drummer, playing with artists that included Roy Ayers and Lou Rawls. Now a Nashville resident again, he is in demand as a speaker and teaches Civil Rights and nonviolent protest at several southern universities.

Geary Moore moved to Nashville after a 30-year career in New York as a jazz guitarist. A protege of George Benson and Jimmy Ponder, Mr. Moore has worked with jazz luminaries such as Jimmy McGriff, Arthur Prysock, Slide Hampton, T.S. Monk, David “Fathead” Newman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and many others. He also taught, for 5 years, at the world famous JAZZMOBILE in Harlem, NY.

The program, streamed on the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/nashvillejazz), will be presented in two parts:

Friday, June 19, 8pm CDT, “History of the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville,” with music by Geary Moore, Rip Patton, John Birdsong, and Joe Davidian.

Friday, June 26, 8pm CDT, “The Mississippi Freedom Rides,” with music by Geary Moore, Rip Patton, John Birdsong, and Joe Davidian.


We’ve temporarily suspended in-person events at NJW, but we’re supporting the community through online classes and streamed performances during this unsure time. While we are still fulfilling our mission, income from these online activities is not enough to pay the bills, and we need additional support from the community.

In lieu of donations to the Nashville Jazz Workshop, we’re asking fans who enjoy this concert to join us in solidarity with the Black Community to drive an end to inequality, and are encouraging people to donate to one of the following:

NAACP  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/naacp-1

Black Lives Matter  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

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This post was written by Danielle Sopchak

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