Across the Color Line: The African South

Across the Color Line: The African South

In this varied program, Scott Ainslie tours the music of the American South where European and African musical traditions cross-pollinated to create the powerful musical hybrids that have long dominated American popular music. With a calabash gourd banjo, his one-string diddley bow, guitars, stories and song, Scott explores the Africanization of old-time mountain music, and African musical and cultural retentions in the Blues, Gospel and work songs of our African-American communities. Students will come away with a broad appreciation for the movement of cultural information across geographic, cultural and class lines, and be able to hear and identify traditional African musical conventions today’s popular music.

Both in-person and virtual (live and pre-recorded) options are available for this program.


Artist Background

Scott Ainslie comes to the classroom as educator, storyteller, scholar/historian and musician. He performs & lectures on the African roots & American diversity of the blues. A Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude grad of Washington & Lee and author of the best-selling Robert Johnson/At the Crossroads & an instructional video on Starlicks Master Sessions Series, he was awarded the 2000 Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College, a 2000 Indie Award from The Independent in Durham, NC and a 2000 Living Heritage Award from the National Slide Guitar Festival. He’s received support for his educational work from the National Endowment for the Arts & NC Arts and is a 2001-2002 Public Fellow in arts education at UNC Chapel Hill.


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