"What Is This Thing Called 'Freedom'?"
The Transforming and Timeless Songs of Protest
"Jazz speaks for life," said Dr. Martin Luther King at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival. "The blues tell the story of life's difficulties — and, if you think for a moment, you realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music."
Protest songs were created and played in many different genres of music including jazz, folk, and rock. These songs are some of the most enduring of our time, and today have a very new and important relevance. Having grown up in Philadelphia in the 1970’s performing in coffee houses around the City of Brotherly Love as a guitarist/singer/songwriter, these songs are part of the fabric of Diane Monroe’s life. The music of Bob Dylan, Gil Scott Heron, Richie Havens, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Billy Taylor (who can forget “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free?”)....