Music Moves plans National African American Music Month celebration

Patrick Bean and the Bonafide Worshippers / Photo: @bwattsphotography

A local nonprofit organization is planning a month-long celebration of African American music during the month of June.

Music Moves, the brainchild of musician Anthony Ball (Funk Factory), will present a series of free online concerts and ticketed in-person events to commemorate African American Music month featuring artists from all over the United States.

The celebration officially kicked off last weekend, and performances are scheduled throughout the month.

On Fridays, local radio station KISS 105.3 will host a Freestyle Friday hip hop showcase each week during the month. The showcases will pit rising Arkansas artists against up-and-coming Oklahoma artists, and will air on the station at 7:30 p.m. each Friday throughout the month.

The event will also celebrate gospel music heritage with Sunday Services each week, livestreamed via the Music Moves Facebook page. Performances include Anitta Smith on June 13, Cadarius Price on June 20, and Tim Rogers & The Fellas on June 27.

Also part of the celebration include a Juneteenth performance at Crystal Bridges called The Sounds of Freedom featuring Dee Dee Jones and Spud Howard on June 19, and the Freedom Festival, a Juneteenth celebration with Soul food and live music in downtown Springdale on June 20.

Music Moves was founded in 2019 by musician Anthony Ball with a mission to promote African American music through programs, performances, and curriculum.

Black Music Month was established by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to “celebrate the African American musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation’s treasured cultural heritage.” The celebration was renamed African American Music Month in 2009 by president Barack Obama.

For a bit more information about individual events, visit the Music Moves Facebook page.