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The National Museum of African American Music Officially Opened and the Jazz Music of Vana Gierig Trio

Updated on January 20, 2021
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Angelladywriter has featured a variety of artists during her television and writing career. She is a graduate from Widener University.

Opening of the National Museum of African American Music. This video is from Youtube.

A Celebration of American Music from Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz, Country and “Everything In Between”

Excitement, joy and tremendous expectations filled our hearts. Our genuine love of music caused my daughter Jaleesa and l to become hyped-up. Once we heard the news story regarding a museum with exhibits based on historically African American music. Immediately we both agreed as soon as the pandemic is over we definitely want to visit Nashville, Tennessee to check out this awesome spectacle. The #National Museum of African American Music is not only exhilarating, “lt really is. It really walks through the history of American music told through an African American prism. Everything from slave songs to Hip-Hop and everything in between. And so really, all of that is American music and that’s what we celebrate in the museum,“ explained H.B. Beacher Hicks, President and CEO.

Anchorman Anthony Mason of CBS This Morning news interviewed H.B Beacher Hicks. With intensity due to his love of music Mason mentioned, “That’s what l love about music. Everything is connected. That theme is woven through the museum‘s seven galleries. Including One Nation Under A Groove. That documents the emergence of Rhythm and Blues after World War ll amid the Civil Rights Movement.”

Various contributors to the museum were interviewed by Mason such as, “Grammy Award winning R&B artist Herr contributed to the Galleries‘ History of R&B Videos.“ With a certain amount of pride Herr acknowledged, “l think black music always represents culture and what’s happening. Where were people’s minds and hearts? What were they feeling? What was the overall culture? You know. What was the racial tension? Music is a place that you go to better understand that. Music is a language everybody speaks.” Nat King Cole’s, Unforgettable was played as a source of proof to backup Herr’s statement, “Music is a language everybody speaks.” This powerful statement reminds me of where music takes me especially songs like Cole’s Unforgettable with his calm, smooth voice. Mason spoke with, “Curator Dina Bennett says more than 1600 artifacts and memorabilia help tell the story of black trailblazers and innovators.” Bennett explained how, “This is a sweater that was owned by Nat King Cole a pianist and vocalist. Nat King Cole was the first African American to host a television show in the 1950’s.”

Another famous award winning artist that toured the museum and serves as Chair is Darius Rucker. The beautiful song by R&B artist Al Green called Love was played as Rucker walked through the museum. When he found the gallery on Al Green he said with excitement, “Here he is, Al Green. He’s the reason l’m standing here. Talking and walking. Al Green is the reason l want to sing.“ Anthony Mason chimed in to remind us, “Country star Darius Rucker is the National Chair of the Museum. We were with the three time Grammy winner as he toured the exhibits for the first time.” Darius went on to explain how, “These guys and ladies playing in Juke Joints, traveling in chitterling, circuits all that stuff like that. For them to do that for us to grow where we’re playing in Madison Square Garden with music they basically started. It really makes you sit back and go ‘wow.’”

I really appreciated the summation of this interview where Anthony admitted, “The museum also shows how African Americans have influenced white artists. And traditionally white dominated genres. Often without credit. I think about the genre you’re in now, Country music. Where black performers are not often thought of as being influential. But in fact are very much so?“ Grammy Award winning Herr reminded us, “There would be no Led Zeppelin. No Beatles. No country music without the Blues. It’s important to recognize that everything comes from somewhere. And black music has made such an impact on popular music.” Aretha Franklin’s song Freedom is played at the end of the story which helps us to see we have to rely on our Grand Creator to help tell the truth about life in general. Whether it is about music and life. The more we discover the contributions of our backgrounds to help us live in a God fearing, peaceful environment the better off all of us wiill be. That involves love and respect for one another. We can only learn this respect and love by reading God’s word the Bible daily and applying what we learn from the heart. May each of us look not at our external colors but internal heartfelt prayer to our Grand Creator so that the truth willl be spoken and revealed.


“I can’t wait to go down there and see that. I couldn’t believe it didn’t already exist. That’s the amazing thing. When you think about the momentous contribution African American artists have made to music and culture in this country.”

— Anthony Mason of “CBS This Morning” news.

The Vana Gierig Trio Presented an Evening of Great Jazz, Delicious Food and Fun

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Vana Gierig on piano at the Jazz Supper Club, held at Chester County Historical SocietyOther members of the trio were Matthew Parrish on bass and Marcello Pelliteri on drumsSelwyn and Anita Broady, producers of Jazz Supper Club, Sugarbaby Events and the Chester County Jazz FestivalDelicious food for the evening included dry rub roasted filet mignon, potatoe salad, shrimp, crab and crawfish pasta and eggplant lasagna with roasted peppers  Desert consisted of Frangelica Chocolate Mousse  Young onesalso  attended the show and enjoyed it.Matthew Parrish, gets down on the bass.The awesome drummer Marcello, with the Vana Gierig TrioSome of the guest enjoyed a subdued source of lighting after dinner during the show.Anita, enjoys a private dance during the show with Vana's Trio.Vana Gierig with the producers Anita and Selwyn Broady.  A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin,  that is exhibited in the Chester County Historical Society's Museum
Vana Gierig on piano at the Jazz Supper Club, held at Chester County Historical Society
Vana Gierig on piano at the Jazz Supper Club, held at Chester County Historical Society
Other members of the trio were Matthew Parrish on bass and Marcello Pelliteri on drums
Other members of the trio were Matthew Parrish on bass and Marcello Pelliteri on drums
Selwyn and Anita Broady, producers of Jazz Supper Club, Sugarbaby Events and the Chester County Jazz Festival
Selwyn and Anita Broady, producers of Jazz Supper Club, Sugarbaby Events and the Chester County Jazz Festival
Delicious food for the evening included dry rub roasted filet mignon, potatoe salad, shrimp, crab and crawfish pasta and eggplant lasagna with roasted peppers
Delicious food for the evening included dry rub roasted filet mignon, potatoe salad, shrimp, crab and crawfish pasta and eggplant lasagna with roasted peppers
Desert consisted of Frangelica Chocolate Mousse
Desert consisted of Frangelica Chocolate Mousse
Young onesalso  attended the show and enjoyed it.
Young onesalso attended the show and enjoyed it.
Matthew Parrish, gets down on the bass.
Matthew Parrish, gets down on the bass.
The awesome drummer Marcello, with the Vana Gierig Trio
The awesome drummer Marcello, with the Vana Gierig Trio
Some of the guest enjoyed a subdued source of lighting after dinner during the show.
Some of the guest enjoyed a subdued source of lighting after dinner during the show.
Anita, enjoys a private dance during the show with Vana's Trio.
Anita, enjoys a private dance during the show with Vana's Trio.
Vana Gierig with the producers Anita and Selwyn Broady.
Vana Gierig with the producers Anita and Selwyn Broady.
A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin,  that is exhibited in the Chester County Historical Society's Museum
A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bayard Rustin, that is exhibited in the Chester County Historical Society's Museum

The Vana Gierig Trio Performed at the Chester County Jazz Festival

Jazz can penetrate to the depths of your very being based on its composition and performance. One of the greatest performers of jazz Herbie Hancock described jazz as, "A form of conversation." Although brief, his explanation is perfect for the naive or inexperienced ear because some jazz can be overly complicated and lack musical direction. Vana Gierig's Trio, captivated young and older members of an audience with a flawless performance, during an intimate evening of jazz, held at Chester County Historical Society. It was produced by Sugarbaby Events and the Chester County Jazz Festival. Vana has been described as, "one of New York's premier #jazz pianists and composers. His award-winning, virtuosic performance style and musical direction have been recognized worldwide and his presence has been integral to many international tours and recordings." He has performed with such major artist in the industry as Wynton Marsalis, at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, Leana Horne, and Regina Carter. Vana Gierig appears not only to be a "premier jazz pianists and composer" but also a person who cares about the young and underprivileged, which he taught to play instruments during his travels throughout the United States. He endeavors to record a fourth CD, which will feature Paquito D'Rivera, as a special guest soloist. Vana Gierig has created, "three critically-acclaimed CD's," which includes his popular composition, A New Day. He also produced Mark Lambert's CD, Under My Skin, "and is co-producer, orchestral arranger, and pianist on Ute Lemper's last CD, Between Yesterday and Tomorrow."

Other Members of Vana Gierig's Trio

The evening was heightened by the distinct talent of Matthew Parrish, who played bass with tremendous intensity. His fingers glided up and down this exquisite instrument. Matthew closed his eyes. His fingers continued to play as beautiful sounds surged from this aesthetically constructed bass. Matthew plucked the strings ever so gently. It was time for Parrish's spotlight. The bass captured our attention as a crescendo of ravishing notes, filled the dimly lit room. He has performed with such jazz greats as, "Clark Terry, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Marion McPartland, Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, and Regina Carter," as well.

On drums for the evening was the extremely talented, Marcello Pellitteri. He mingled the classy sounds of the cymbals with casual beats on the #drums. The repetition of these sounds together; embraced the rhythmic vibes that lingered within the room. Marcello's abilities as an awesome drummer were assured, as we were impelled to bob our heads and tap out feet to the beat of this talented musician. He has "crisscrossed the globe with Wynton Marsalis, Claudio Roditi, Jacky Terrasson, and Joe Henderson."

After each individual of Vana Gierig's Trio was featured, the group continued to play such original tunes as, Accent and A New Day, which has different influences of the Brazillian culture with jazz. This particular song's sound, started out a little laid back but toward the end, the music was completely heightened. The Trio maintained their audience's attention with the sounds of their smooth and inviting jazz which caused us to break out in applause before the conclusion of, A New Day. Vana's fingers continued to dance across the piano, with slight interludes of pure excitement from the audience. My husband Walker screamed, "He's showing off now!" The crowd broke out again in applause as Vana Gierig's Trio, played another outstanding original jazz tune entitled, Healing In Foreign Lands. This award-winning song was created, "for all those that do charity work in foreign lands," stated Vana. During his travels throughout the world, he met people you never get to read about, that risk their lives to help others in need.

The tempo was then accelerated with Matthew on bass as Marcello remained silent on drums. Slowly, as though they were enticing audience members to get up and dance, Anita Broady, one of the producers of this jazz supper club, danced in the rear of the room. She could no longer contain herself because the music was just that inviting. When the drums did resonate again, Vana slowly played the piano along with the subtle sound of his voice which consisted of African flair. The tempo escalated again with something unique and timely. The Trio played another original tune entitled, Driving While Texting. The intensity of this song started out high and then it was lowered where the bass pulsated with sounds that caused your feet to pat up and down with the beat. Toward the end of the show, Vana explained how, "only four years ago, he crossed paths with the drummer, Marcello Pellitteri again." He went on to express how Matthew Parrish, who played bass was from our area and had been playing with Regina Carter's band. He knew that if the three of them could get together, they would create jazz that would appeal to all races as well as soothe and comfort the soul. Vana was right! This Trio was awesome, even with my limited knowledge of jazz.

Delicious Food at the Jazz Supper Club

Before the jazz extravaganza began, a variety of appetizers were served in the midst of dim lighting, little trees, and #candlelights. Chef Daniel Funk prepared a buffet for the evening's supper club that consisted of Dry Rubbed Roasted Filet Mignon, Andouville Potatoe Salad, Shrimp, Crab and Crawfish Blush Sauce with Brochette, Eggplant Lasagna with Roasted Peppers and Portabella Mushrooms. The dessert included a Frangelica Chocolate Mousse with White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding.

An Effort for the Continuation of Jazz was a Success

One of the host for the evening was Richard Blackwell, who presents, "Live broadcast, interviews and performances" coast to coast. He commended Selwyn and Anita Broady, of Sugarbaby Events for their determination to revitalize jazz through the Chester County Jazz Festival. Their next three-day festival kicked off on Friday, June 29, at 7:00 p.m., with superstar jazz guitarist Peter White, Point Blank Band and C.P. Lacey at the Asplundh Concert Hall on the campus of West Chester University. The music kept going Saturday, June 30, and July 1, which featured free, open-air live jazz with superstars Warren Hill, Ronnie Laws, Gerald Veasley, Tom Braxton, Gary Davis, plus up-and-coming artists B.D. Lenz, Olivia Rox, Aniya, Hidden Treasure and more. Exhibitors were available with merchandise, great food, and family-friendly activities, in Hoopes Park of West Chester, Pa. It was a memorable day of jazz and family fun.

Video from YouTube of Vana Gierig Trio performing.

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