To celebrate Black History Month, we’re presenting a five-part livestream discussion on Twitch about ‘The History of Black Music in America’, hosted by Professor Fredara Mareva Hadley.

Fredara has been an ethnomusicology professor in Juilliard’s department of music history since 2018. Her core research considers how people of African descent use music genres to construct and maintain community.

She is joined by legendary DJ and Producer Rich Medina for the final two episodes.

The schedule for this series will be as follows: 

Session 1

Slavery to Civil Rights – Weds. Feb. 3rd 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm GMT

Session 2

Civil Rights to Hip Hop – Weds. Feb. 10th 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm GMT

Session 3

Hip Hop – Weds. Feb. 17th 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm GMT

Session 4

House / Techno w/ Rich Medina – Mon. Feb. 22nd 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm GMT

Session 5

Sampling w/ Rich Medina – Weds. Feb. 24th 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm GMT

Before we get going, here’s a little bit of background on Prof. Hadley and Rich Medina.

Fredara Mareva Hadley, Ph.D

Fredara Mareva Hadley, Ph.D. is an ethnomusicology professor at The Juilliard School. She specializes in researching, writing, and teaching African American music. 

Committed to sharing knowledge about Black music by any means possible, she  has been published in academic journals and outlets including Billboard Magazine and PBS where she’s written on a variety of topics including Beyoncé and the effect of gentrification on the music of Black communities. She’s presented her research topics at universities at conferences both domestic and abroad. Her commentary is featured in projects including the BBC documentary Killing Me Softly: The Roberta Flack Story; PBS’ docuseries, Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music. She is featured in the upcoming PBS documentary, The Black Church, hosted by Professor Henry Louis Gates airing in February 2021. Her ongoing projects focus on the musical impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and on Shirley Graham DuBois, one of the earliest Black women musicologists and opera composers.

Fredara  is a proud alumna of two HBCUs: Florida A&M University and Clark Atlanta University and earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University.

Rich Medina

Rich Medina is an elite international DJ who, in the twenty years since he spun his first record, has turned his young love for music into a celebrated career as a platinum-selling record producer, recording artist, poet, journalist, and Ivy League lecturer. 

From the legendary nine-year-run of his Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack party at APT in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, to his globe-spanning, conscious-raising, dance-floor-shaking party Jump-N-Funk, a sonic tribute afrobeat and its iconic creator Fela Kuti, Rich stands without peer as a contemporary DJ of diverse range and taste. A sonic storyteller par excellence. 

But his art pushes past those boundaries. As a respected spoken word artist, he has performed on stages around the world, and his sonorous voice has been utilized by everyone from EA Sports to Nike. 

He’s an intellectual and public speaker who has lectured at TEDXPhilly and his alma mater Cornell, amongst others. 

He’s also a producer of note, crafting work with a range of artists, including Jill Scott, J Dilla, and Bobbito Garcia. In short, Rich Medina is the modern-day renaissance man—an artist and visionary who has built a compelling narrative on his own terms. 

And his journey continues.