A Conversation with Diane Turner and Suzanne Cloud
Join us for a conversation about Philadelphia Jazz: Images of America with authors Suzanne Cloud, director of the Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project, and Diane Turner, curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. Cloud and Turner have collaborated to create this book that will help support the establishment of a permanent jazz archive at the Blockson Collection.
About the book:
Many scholars have traced improvised music in Philadelphia back through ragtime to the prominent Black orchestras that played quadrilles and marches for high-society dances in the 19th century, with one of the most famous led by Philadelphian Francis “Frank” Johnson. The Black migrations from the South to the North after World War I carried performers and their music to Chicago; New York City; Washington, DC; and Philadelphia. Musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane came from the Carolinas and started careers in Philadelphia, while homegrown talent from the city’s multiethnic neighborhoods—including violinist Joe Venuti, saxophonists Jimmy Heath and Charlie Ventura, organists Shirley Scott and Trudy Pitts, and pianist McCoy Tyner—made the world take notice of the musical gifts that contributed to the celebrated Philly sound. Philadelphia Jazz celebrates the immense contributions that the city’s jazz community has made to America’s true classical music.
About the authors:
Dr. Suzanne Cloud—writer, historian, and jazz musician—received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in American Studies in 2004. Cloud has published six YA history books, contributed to the African American National Biography Project at Harvard, co-authored with Diane Turner the book Images of America: Philadelphia Jazz, edited The Real Philadelphia Book, and was the founding director of Jazz Bridge, a nonprofit aiding musicians in crisis. Currently, Cloud is director of the Philadelphia Jazz Legacy Project, an organization dedicated to building a Philadelphia area archive of jazz. Her play Last Call at the Downbeat was part of the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Cloud is a past Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, a recipient of the Rutgers University Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement in 2015 and was named a Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2019.
Dr. Diane D. Turner is curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. Dr. Turner holds three Temple University degrees. Her areas of specialization and research include African American labor, cultural and social history, Philadelphia jazz history, independent Black filmmakers, oral history, and public history. Her dissertation is entitled Organizing and Improvising: A History of Philadelphia’s Black Musicians’ Protective Union Local 274, American Federation of Musician. Dr. Turner taught African American history at Brown University, Northeastern University, Rowan University, University of South Florida, and other institutions where she mentored many students. She has authored three books published by Third World Press that include My Name is Oney Judge (2010), Feeding the Soul: Black Music, Black Thought (2011), and Our Grand Pop is a Montford Point Marine (2018), co-authored with her father, Corporal Thomas S. Turner Sr. Her writings appear in anthologies and books such as: the Philadelphia Jazz Project: Jazz Stories Illustrated, and Black Panther: Paradigm Shift or Not? She serves as a consultant on a number of advisory boards and committees such as Bethel Burial Ground Historic Site Memorial Committee, Scribe Video’s Precious Places, Third World Press Foundation, and others. Dr. Turner is president of the Montford Point Marines Association, Philadelphia Chapter #1 Auxiliary.
This program is presented in partnership with the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora at Penn State Special Collections Library.
Our programs are geared toward a general audience and are open to all, including Temple students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, and friends. Registration is encouraged.
- Wednesday, April 5, 2023
- 2:00pm - 3:30pm
- Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection