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Image result for tom tom from soul train

Image result for tom tom from soul train

Researching Sun Ra to take elements of his individualistic and space-inspired aesthetic in order to apply them to our own. (Cora Clarke for TT Brief)

Researching Sun Ra to take elements of his individualistic and space-inspired aesthetic in order to apply them to our own. (Cora Clarke for TT Brief)

In 1858, the 1st Black pianist to win national fame was Thomas Greene Bethune, or “Blind Tom” (1849-1908). Born a blind slave near Columbus, GA, his talent as a composer & a pianist was soon recognized by Colonel Bethune; who purchased him in 1850. The child prodigy made his debut in Savannah, GA & for over 40 yrs amazed his audiences “with his artistry & his gift for total recall” of the more than 700 pieces that he played.

In 1858, the 1st Black pianist to win national fame was Thomas Greene Bethune, or “Blind Tom” (1849-1908). Born a blind slave near Columbus, GA, his talent as a composer & a pianist was soon recognized by Colonel Bethune; who purchased him in 1850. The child prodigy made his debut in Savannah, GA & for over 40 yrs amazed his audiences “with his artistry & his gift for total recall” of the more than 700 pieces that he played.

Living quarters and "juke joint" for migratory workers, a slack season; Belle Glade, Fla. (February 1941)

Living quarters and "juke joint" for migratory workers, a slack season; Belle Glade, Fla. (February 1941)

Tom Cupp at his cabin, now known as Martins Fork cabin, in the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.

Tom Cupp at his cabin, now known as Martins Fork cabin, in the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.

Welsh singer Tom Jones in the pillared entrance  of his palatial home at St George's Hill in Weybridge, Surrey, on his return to Britain after almost six months in America - UK - 27 September 1969

Welsh singer Tom Jones in the pillared entrance of his palatial home at St George's Hill in Weybridge, Surrey, on his return to Britain after almost six months in America - UK - 27 September 1969

Thomas Wiggins (aka Thomas Bethune or Blind Tom). Born a slave in 1849, he was purchased at 2yrs old, with his parents, Charity & Mingo Wiggins, by James Neil Bethune, a prominent Georgia lawyer & anti-abolitionist. Wiggins was blind & autistic, but a musical genius with phenomenal memory. Music fascinated him & he could pick out tunes on piano & reproduce them by age 4. By age 6 Wiggins was improvising on the piano and composing music. He made his concert debut at eight-years-old in…

Thomas Wiggins (aka Thomas Bethune or Blind Tom). Born a slave in 1849, he was purchased at 2yrs old, with his parents, Charity & Mingo Wiggins, by James Neil Bethune, a prominent Georgia lawyer & anti-abolitionist. Wiggins was blind & autistic, but a musical genius with phenomenal memory. Music fascinated him & he could pick out tunes on piano & reproduce them by age 4. By age 6 Wiggins was improvising on the piano and composing music. He made his concert debut at eight-years-old in…

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