Blues. Gospel. Hip hop. It's easy to identify certain facets of music with a heavy African American influence. However, if you go back far enough, you might be surprised at many other genres that were partially inspired by African American musicians.
In 1979, then President Jimmy Carter declared the month of June to be Black Music Month. Its purpose was to recognize the role African Americans have played in helping to shape music of all styles.
The month was celebrated informally until 2000 when the House of Representatives signed off on a presidential order to make it official. From that day on, Black Music Month has been acknowledged as a true American occasion.
In 2009, former President Barack Obama changed the name of Black Music Month to African-American Music Appreciation Month. Last year, President Trump released a proclamation for people to use the month of June to raise awareness and appreciation of African American music.
So how can you celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month in Atlanta this year? Here's a list of events featuring African American artists across Atlanta:
7 p.m. Saturday, June 1
488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta
Throughout the year, non-profit Song for Kids organizes fundraising events where bands and solo artists of all skill levels can take the stage to sing kid songs to a live audience of all ages. Performers from all backgrounds and walks of life can pick a tune and have fun with it. In the past celebrities like Janelle Monae and Ceelo have performed at Songs for Kids events.
For each event, attendees can decide for themselves how much they want to pay to enter. More information, including future event dates, can be found on the foundation's website.
10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 1; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 2
Virginia-Highland Summerfest Main Stage - John Howell Park
Park Drive at Virginia Avenue, Atlanta
The annual Virginia-Highland Summerfest features two days of art and musical performances among many other attractions. Stop by at 3 pm on Saturday, June 1 to see DAYSHAWNX on the main stage.
6 p.m. Saturday, June 8
Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
2002 Lakewood Way SW, Atlanta
Kendrick Lamar. 50 Cent. Chris Brown. T.I. Trey Songz. Each of these artists has headlined their own concert over the years, but Tycoon Music Festival will bring them all together at one concert. Buy tickets to catch these legends through Live Nation.
2-9 p.m. Friday, June 14; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m June 15; Sunday, June 16 - 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Home Depot Backyard (near Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
1 Backyard Way, Atlanta
Over Father's Day weekend, Juneteenth Atlanta will be hosting its annual Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival. The event will feature cultural food, activities and performances from various musicians. The parade, which will take place on Saturday, June 15, will start off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. in downtown Atlanta. The full parade route and festival hours can be found on the Juneteenth Atlanta website.
Various times, Thursday, June 6 to Sunday, June 9
660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta
Featuring 28 Motown songs, Pride & Joy, The Marvin Gaye Musical tells the story of how the talented musician fell in love with Anna Gordy during the intense time period between the 50's and 60's. The Fox Theatre website has the showtimes and tickets available for purchase.
7 p.m. Saturday, June 15
Wolf Creek Amphitheater
3025 Merk Road SW, College Park
Tucka and Willie Clayton lead the list of performers expected to grace the stage at the Evening Under the Stars Blues Festival. Tickets are available through Live Nation.
6 p.m. Saturday, June 22
New Birth Cathedral
6400 Woodrow Road, Lithonia
Each year, McDonald's hosts a free gospel tour to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Performers like Donald Lawrence, Keke Wyatt and Kierra Sheard are slated to perform, among others. Ticket and donation information can be found via the Eventbrite page.
7 p.m. Saturday, June 15
1 State Farm Dr., Atlanta
Some of the most popular hip-hop artists on the scene are coming to Atlanta for Hot 107.9's Birthday Bash. Performers include Migos, Lil Yachty, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Baby. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
Saturday, June 15 - 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Ave. NW, Atlanta
If you can't make it to Birthday Bash, Hot 107.9 is hosting a free block party and concert earlier on the same day. Featuring Jacquees, the self-proclaimed King of R&B, the block party kicks off at noon and will have performances until 5 pm.
8 p.m. (gates open at 7 p.m.) Friday, June 21
The Wren's Nest
1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta
Each summer the Wren's Nest hosts a summer concert series featuring jazz artists from around the world. In June, you can catch Chandra Currelley, Yonrico Scott and the Barry Richman Band. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.
8 p.m. Monday, June 24
3110 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta
Rapper and songwriter, Rich the Kid will be in town this month with his The World is Yours 2 tour. Tickets are available through Live Nation.
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