Panel discussion explores connection between jazz and Civil Rights movement



On Jan. 17, in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the Jewish Museum of New Jersey will present a panel discussion and performance entitled “Jazz Music and the Movement for Civil Rights.” Participants will include musicians Adegoke Steve Colson and David Amram, attorney and activist Junius Williams, educator Robert O’Meally, and Gwen Moten, executive director of The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism in Newark.

Maxine Gordon — who oversees the legacy of her husband, the late Dexter Gordon — will moderate, and saxophonist Leo Johnson will perform.

The museum is at Congregation Ahavas Sholom at 145 Broadway, and the program begins at 2 p.m.

According to a press release, “The panelists will focus on the role of jazz music and jazz musicians in the movement for racial equality in 20th century America — specifically the relationship between Jews and African-Americans in the jazz community as it impacted on the larger struggle for Civil Rights.”

The museum’s current exhibition, “Jazz, Jews and African-Americans: Cultural Intersections in Newark and Beyond,” is on display through Jan. 31.

The  event is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, WBG0 88.3 FM Jazz Radio, and the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. There is no admission charge, but registration is recommended at

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