A celebration of African American music in Swansea

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This celebration of African American Music in Swansea is part of A Swansea Citizenship Millennium Award given to Jen Wilson of Women’s Jazz Archive. As luck would have it, it coincides with a major new exhibition at the National Museum and Gallery in Cardiff, ‘Let Paul Robeson Sing’, celebrating probably the most legendary figure of African American music in Wales.

Thus we are able to combine the Millennium Award events with an offshoot exhibition and a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Swansea by Paul Robeson Junior. Do join us in commemorating this cross-cultural phenomenon.

David Woolley Literature Officer, Dylan Thomas Centre

If you want any details of these events contact Jen Wilson via the email at the foot of the page.

Wednesday 4 April      7.30 pm Video Showing of ‘Proud Valley’

(Ealing Films, 1939, Dir. Pen Tennyson) starring Paul Robeson and Rachel Thomas. The film will be introduced by Peter Stead.


Wednesday 11 April        7.30pm

‘Let Paul Robeson Sing’

 An evening with Paul Robeson Junior. An evening to celebrate Paul Robeson, and to underline the fact that his lifelong fight against racism is very much a contemporary issue. The evening will also feature readings from Swansea poets, and school & community groups who have participated in workshops run by Phil Cope inspired by the exhibitions in Cardiff & Swansea. Full Price £4 Concessions £2.80 Swansea PTL £1-60

Tuesday 29 May                7.30pm

Niyi Osundare — Nigerian poet

As another fortuitous addition to this celebration we welcome perhaps Africa’s most acclaimed poet. Osundare has published twelve collections of poems, won many international awards, and is Professor of English at the University of Ibadan. He is introduced by Stewart Brown, poet, editor & critic, and Reader in African & Caribbean Literature at the University of Birmingham.

Full Price £4 Concessions £2-80 Swansea PTL £1-60

4th September 2001        700pm


With an illustrated multi-media performance of music from the photographs, with Jen Wilson on piano, Margot Morgan vocals, and Iris San koh Douglas, Saxophone.

Peter Stacey will demonstrate the family of African Drums and illustrate his talk with African Rhythms and Chants showcasing his African Rhythm Course starting the following week. FREE ENTRY


29th September 2001         7.30pm


 Jen Wilson Quartet with Margot Morgan will perform a selection of music from 1920s blues to contemporary jazz in homage and celebration to those who travelled with their music to Swansea from America.

Full Price £4 Concessions £2-80 Swansea PTL £1 -60


April/May 2001

COURSE:  Collecting Oral History on Swansea’s Music Scene

TUTOR:   Jen Wilson of the Women’s Jazz Archive

WHERE:  The Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea

WHEN:    6 Sessions commencing Tuesday 3rd April, 7-9pm

FEE:        FREE

 Students will have basic instruction in the use of broadcast quality Marantz Tape Recorder and a Digital Video Camera, tapes provided. Students will be shown how to research and access sources, as well as discuss clips from film/video history documentaries. Students’ Projects will be to either interview a musician, promoter, ageing rockers/jivers/boppers and jazzers; or film old dance halls, assembly rooms, variety theatres or bandleaders before they disappear. Twelve students maximum. Register with Jen Wilson 01792 466083. All tapes will be publicly available for research, educational and archival use.


COURSE: African Rhythm

TUTOR: Peter Stacey

WHERE: The Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea

WHEN: Four Saturday sessions 11am-1pm: 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th Sept.



Students will learn the family of African Drums and undertake rhythms and counter-rhythms, including the chants. Bring a drum if you have one. Room for 20 students. Register your names with Jen Wilson 01792 466083. See email address at the foot of the page.

13 March — 22 April - Exhibition

‘Let Paul Robeson Sing’ an offshoot of the National Museum Exhibition, curated by Phil Cope of ‘culture & democracy’.

“ROOTS” September 2001

A collection of old posters, advertisements, photographs of gospel choirs etc. Historic and contemporary musicians, plus memorabilia from the Women’s Jazz Archive illustrating how music from spirituals to blues and jazz came to Swansea.

 (See www.blackhistorymap.com and www.jazzsite. co. uk/wja/)

For details of the above contact Jen Wilson at jenjazzarchive@aol.com



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