Patriots Point to offer symposium on Jenkins Orphanage Band
Patriots Point will offer a special symposium at 10 a.m. Feb. 22 as part of a tribute to African Americans.
The naval and maritime museum’s Institute of History, Science and Technology will offer “Jenkins, Jazz and Jammin’ in Times of War and Peace.” The program is free and open to the public.
The symposium is the fourth in the tourist attraction’s educational series, “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things,” and focuses on Jenkins Orphanage Band, which started in Charleston in the late 1800s. The band broke racial boundaries, traveling and performing at events around the world, including presidential inauguration ceremonies.
Speakers will include former educator, politician and professional musician Lonnie Hamilton III, a former Jenkins Orphanage Band member and director; Charleston’s first lady of jazz, Ann Caldwell; and executive director of the Jenkins Institute for Children, Johanna Martin-Carrington. Both Hamilton and Martin-Carrington served as members of the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
They will lead the audience on a historical journey through Charleston’s rich jazz history with insightful discussion and unforgettable musical performances covering periods ranging from the Civil War through present-day. Prior to the start of the program, Northside Christian High School Band will perform musical selections in Hangar Bay 1.
“The Jenkins Orphanage Band left an indelible mark on jazz music, with alumni including such luminaries as William “Cat” Anderson, Jabbo Smith and Freddie Green,” Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette said. “This symposium will highlight the band’s influence on the Lowcountry and on jazz music–shaping sounds that captivated a nation during times of conflict and in peace.”
In conjunction with the symposium, Patriots Point will introduce a new exhibit, “Black Musicians in the Military.” The exhibit will feature historic photos of black servicemen who served our country during World War I and World War II.
In addition to the new display, Patriots Point celebrates the contributions and achievements of African Americans in the military every day with the “Blacks in the Navy” permanent display on the Yorktown’s Tour Four.