Black History Month

Join WAER as we celebrate Black History Month with several special programs throughout the month.


Each weekday afternoon at 2:15pm we'll bring you Moments of the Movement, programs from a collection segments that will guide you through a remarkable journey as foot soldiers and leaders from the Civil Rights Movement tell their consequential narratives and testimonials.


The AfroBeat Revolutionary – the Story of Fela Kuti
Saturday, 2/8 at 7PM

Fela Anikulapo Kuti created a unique sound, Afrobeat, but he was far more than a music star, in Nigeria he spoke out for the oppressed on all social issues. He was a cultural revolutionary, and paid the ultimate price.  Neneh Cherry tells his story and highlights the relevance of his influence today on the music scene of Nigeria and across the world.

Living in Los Angeles in the 60's with a member of the Black Panthers, Sandra Isidore politicized Fela.  During their relationship he devised a sound called Afrobeat by mixing powerful Nigerian drums with James Brown-style horns and his own 'free' blasts of saxophone and a Rhodes keyboard. Fela's quasi-rapping style and percolating guitars, all wrapped up in a smouldering groove driven by the band's brilliant drummer Tony Allen that could last nearly an hour, was an intoxicating sound.

Fela became the voice of Nigeria's have-nots. He was the outspoken critic of corruption - from colonialism, multinationals and 3 Nigerian presidents.  Songs like: Zombie, I.T.T., International T'ief, T'ief and Upside Down.  Nigeria's military junta were not happy and from the moment he returned to Nigeria up until his death, Fela was hounded, jailed, tortured and nearly killed by a government determined to silence him.


Feeling Good – the Nina Simone Story
Part 1 - Wednesday, 2/12 at Noon
Part 2 - Wednesday, 2/19 at Noon

Nina Simone had many sides; an unsung pioneer of civil rights and a singer with her distinctive musical blend of jazz, blues and soul. In this 2 part series Nina’s daughter, Simone, explores the career of her mother as a protest singer, a jazz chanteuse, a blues artist and a live performer. She also gives us her own personal take on her mother’s life and music along with contributions from some of Nina’s closest friends we get a glimpse of the real Nina. We also hear some exclusive, unreleased tracks from the great Nina Simone in concert.


WAER is focusing on black jazz and blues greats in celebration of Black History Month.
Each weekday we'll spotlight an African-American artist that has made a significant contribution to the art of jazz.

2/3 - Ella Fitzgerald 
2/4 - Joshua Redman 
2/5 - Horace Silver 
2/6 - Dianne Reeves 
2/7 - Lee Morgan
2/10 - Cannonball Adderley
2/11 - Billie Holiday (Jazz Challenge)
2/12 - Nina Simone (Jazz Challenge)
2/13 - Kermit Ruffins
2/14 - Houston Person
2/17 - Freddie Hubbard
2/18 - The Best Of Blue Note 
2/19 - Oscar Peterson 
2/20 - Christian McBride 
2/21 - Charles Earland 
2/24 - David "Fathead" Newman 
2/25 - Catherine Russell 
2/26 - Wes Montgomery 
2/27 - NEA Jazz Masters 
2/28 - Jimmy Smith