The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) has announced its 2015 honorees for the My Music Matters: A Celebration of Legends Luncheon.
The event, in its second year, will honor African American icons including:
• Cece Winans: Grammy, Dove and Stellar award winning gospel icon
• Howard Hewett: singer, songwriter, former member of Shalimar, R&B solo recording artist sensation
• Michael Bivins: music industry producer, member of New Edition, Bel Biv Devoe and hip-hop legend
• Donny Hathaway: a songwriter, session musician and producer, but is expressly known as an accomplished American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician
The Legends Luncheon will take place on Friday, June 19 11:30 am at the Wildhorse Saloon honoring the contributions of these national legends and trailblazers who have impacted the music industry and contributed to American culture. Dr. Bobby Jones, an inaugural recipient of NMAAM’s Rhapsody & Rhythm award in 2014, will serve as master of ceremonies.
The luncheon serves as the premier fundraising event for the museum, raising money for the museum’s programs and community outreach. NMAAM, an innovative institution set to open in 2017, will educate, celebrate and commemorate the contributions of African Americans in American culture, to tell a story never before told, until now.
The Legends Luncheon was created to provide an extension of the conversations from NMAAM’s successful My Music Matters campaign, a platform for local and national leaders and influencers to discuss the impact that African American music has had on them as an individual as well as the ways that African American music has shaped the musical landscape of the United States.
“The impact of our My Music Matters campaign has had significant influence on local and national levels. Since its inception, our progress has grown by leaps and bounds,” said H. Beecher Hicks III, president/CEO of NMAAM. “By ensuring the conversation of our goal, to educate the world about the impact African Americans have had on American culture, we have accomplished key milestones and significant fundraising goals, including the plans for our future home.”
As a result of the success of this campaign, and a rising interest in NMAAM amongst artists and the music industry, NMAAM developed the Legends Luncheon as an extension of conversations recorded and documented during the My Music Matters interviews. The influence of artists and music mentioned during these interviews included multiple mentions of artists and musicians who continue to influence music today. Those that came before, those whose shoulders on which we stand, along with doors opened because of the work and stance that they led.
“The impact on music, the work and the lives of people we interviewed, that an event honoring ‘the legends’ was the answer to an unspoken question,” said Hicks.
Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online at NMAAM.org