National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. Convention to Spotlight Youth, Music and History of NANM

The 95th annual convention of The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) will be held in Los Angeles beginning July 20 through July 24, 2014.  Founded in Chicago in 1919, NANM is the country’s oldest organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of African American music.  Since its inception, NANM has provided encouragement and support to thousands of African American musicians, many of whom have become widely respected figures in the musical arena and have contributed significantly to African American culture and music history.

During the convention, music teachers, performers, other professionals and community groups have the opportunity to meet and compare notes with their counterparts from across the country; to hear and participate in concerts featuring familiar and unfamiliar musical literature; to become acquainted with new teaching techniques; to benefit from exposure to high standards of musicianship; and to discuss mutual problems and strategize solutions. See the NANMConventionFlyer and NANMConventionSchedule.

NANM supports young musicians by awarding scholarships, and will provide an opportunity for them to perform and to interact with their peers and highly acclaimed professional musicians during the convention.  By introducing aspiring young musicians to the various genres of music, NANM continues to ‘keep the music alive and vibrant’.

The convention will convene with the opening meeting (concert) at Grant AME Church, 10435 S. Central Ave, Los Angeles 90002 on Sunday, July 20, at 3:00 p.m.  The convention will conclude on Thursday, July 24. The Doubletree Hotel Los Angeles Westside, 6161 Centinela Ave., Culver City 90230, will serve as the headquarters and main venue for much of the four-day gathering.  Many notable musicians from all across the country will attend this uplifting, music-filled and informative convention. The convention encompasses and includes genres such as Negro Spirituals, Hymns, Gospel, Jazz and R&B. The public is invited to attend free and ticketed events.

Byron J. Smith, NANM President, believes Los Angeles is the ideal host city for this year’s convention.  “With the vast amount of music and entertainment that comes out of Los Angeles, it is only fitting that we all converge on Los Angeles for this our 95th anniversary,” he said. “The theme, ‘Lights, Music, Action: Spotlight on the Next Generation’ was chosen to reflect the Hollywood location of the convention.”

In addition to the opening meeting which pays tribute to the late Dr. Don Lee White who was instrumental in establishing the oldest branch on the West Coast, workshops, concerts, and awards presentations will be offered.

A gala concert will be presented on Monday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. with the Inner-city Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICOYLA) under the direction of Charles Dickerson, founder and conductor. Special guests include Keith David (Enlisted) and LaVan Davis (House of Payne). The concert will be held at the beautiful Wilshire United Methodist Church at 4350 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90005.

The Life Members Guild Jazz Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, July 22, at 12:00 p.m. with a jazz ensemble of local youth scholarship winners.  Renowned, award winning writer and stage actress Karen Bankhead will perform as Ms. Etta Mae Mumphries and will also serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.

In celebrating 95 years of history and advocacy, a tribute honoring the past 23 national presidents including R. Nathaniel Dett, Brazeal Denard, Roland Carter will be presented through drama and song on Tuesday, July 22, at 8:00 p.m.

A Gala Awards Banquet will be held Wednesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. to honor five music legends for their contributions to African American music.  Honorees include legendary vocalist Kenneth Glover whose 60-year performance career included serving as the official soloist for the National Baptist Convention; retired Presbyterian Pastor and organist/pianist Rev. Dr. Leon E. Fanniel who was one of the accompanists for Mahalia Jackson and is a strong advocate for music programs and young musicians; Bellflower Symphony conductor Joseph Taylor who has taught strings to hundreds of young musicians for the past 40 years and is conductor of the NANM Convention Orchestra; and Musicians in Action founders Jacqueline and Gerald Malone whose calling has been to develop positive relationships between church musicians and church leadership.

Click here for schedule or for tickets.  Information is also available by emailing or calling (323) 294-6709. Official website: