The Branigan Cultural Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, will host a virtual keynote speaker for the second annual New Mexico Juneteenth Jazz Arts Festival.
James Keith Zimmerman, Senior Programs Producer for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Office of Programs and Special Initiatives will join us via Zoom to discuss the history and culture of Jazz. To access the virtual lecture please log into Zoom.us with webinar ID 82056965925 at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16.
The lecture will be followed by a virtual concert from the Joe Dunn Chamber Fusion Ensemble.
James Keith Zimmerman, a native Washingtonian, is a preserver of African American musical culture and history. As a vocalist, he is an exceptional interpreter of songs.
Steeped in the time-honored tradition of the great jazz vocalists his performances are presented in an original, authentic style. Zimmerman was a founding member of “Cloudburst” (2010-2014), the D.C. vocalese group interpreting the works of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
Zimmerman has developed his skills as a lyricist and performs as a solo artist in a variety of ensemble configurations. He was a featured vocalist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO). He has been awarded multiple grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts including an Artist Fellowship in 2021.
Before joining the National Museum of American History, Zimmerman served as Executive Director for the SJMO, from 2000 to 2006, where he was responsible for shaping the mission and direction of the orchestra. He was Producer from 1994 to 2000, during which time he enhanced the orchestra’s reputation and substantially increased audience outreach through strategic development of diverse programs.
Zimmerman has served on the staffs of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts; and was a consultant/contractor to the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in Baltimore, where he conceived and co-founded the Mid Atlantic Foundation’s Living Legacy Award in 1994.
Other career highlights include researching and conducting extensive oral history interviews with jazz vocalists: Jon Hendricks, Oscar Brown, Jr.; Bill Henderson, and vocalist-pianist Freddy Cole. He also wrote liner notes for the CD, “Bill Henderson Live at the Kennedy Center” and conceived and produced the Louis Armstrong Education Kit, developed and written by Luvenia George and David Baker.
The Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., is accessible via RoadRUNNER Transit Route 1, Stop 1. Visit the Museums System website at: https://www.las-cruces.org/museums or follow the Las Cruces Museums on Facebook and Instagram @LCMuseums.
For information, contact Stephanie Hawkins, Interim Museum Manager, at 575/541-2160 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.