and Staff 

The Panelists
Blake Allmendinger
Lonnie G. Bunch
David Baker
Albert Broussard
Sumi Cho
Bettye Gardner
Juan Gomez-Quinones
William Gwaltney
Gerald Horne
Patricia Nelson Limerick
Rick Moss
Cornel Pewewardy
Harry Robinson
Beverly Robinson
Frank Schubert
Michael Searles
Alonzo N. Smith
Paul Stewart
Rowena Stewart
Quintard Taylor

"The Kansas City Jam"
The American Jazz Museum All-Stars

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

Living History
Lee N. Coffee
Janice “Christi” Cole
William Grimmette
Sandra Kamusikiri
Kimberly Kelly

Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of American History

Program in African American Culture

A Quest For Freedom Committee

Special Thanks
Contact Information

About the Participants and Staff
The Panelists
  • Blake Allmendinger, Ph.D., is a professor of English at UCLA.  He received his A.B. in English and American Literature from Harvard College, his M.A. in English Literature and Language from Oxford University, and a M.A and Ph.D. in English and American Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has had numerous books and articles published on the West, including Ten Most Wanted: The New Western Literature and  The Cowboy: Representations of Labor in an American Work Culture.  He has been a recipient of fellowship with the National Endowment of the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and Center for Great Plains Studies. 
  • Lonnie G. Bunch III, President, The Chicago Historical Society, was Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs of the National Museum of American History from 1994 to 2000.  Prior to that appointment, he served as Associate Director for Historical Resources and as a curator in the Division of Political History.  Formerly the Senior Curator of History of the California Afro-American Museum in Los Angeles, he has curated numerous exhibitions such as “The Black Olympians: The Afro-American in the Olympic Games” and “Seeing is Believing: The Photography of the Civil Rights Movement.”  He was one of the three principal curators for the Smithsonian Institution’s celebrated exhibition “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden.”  He has published extensively on African American history and on the role of museums in American society, including “Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850-1950,”  and “Fighting a Good Fight: Museums in an Age of Uncertainty,” Museum News.  He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in American and African American History from The American University, is an adjunct professor of museum studies at George Washington University, and is a documentary film maker. 
  • David Baker, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana.  He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University in Music Education and studied with a wide rang of master teachers, performers and composers including J.J. Johnson, Janos Starker, and George Russell.  He is a an award winning performer, composer and educator who is a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award nominee and the recipient of many honors, including, Down Beat magazine’s New Star, Lifetime Achievement and Jazz Education Hall of Fame awards and the National Endowment for the Arts American Jazz masters Award.  He is the conductor and artistic director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and has performed and taught all over the world.  His compositions total more than 2,000 in number, including jazz, symphonic and chamber works.  He has more than 65 recordings, 70 books, and 400 articles to his credit. 
  • Albert Broussard, Ph.D.  is a professor of history and holder of the Elton P. Lewis Faculty Fellowship at Texas A&M University where he has taught since 1985.  A graduate of Stanford and Duke University, where he earned  his doctoral degree, professor Broussard has published books, Black San Francisco: The Struggle for Racial Equality in the West, 1900-1954,. He is past president of the oral history Association and an active member of the historical profession.  Currently, he is serving as a consultant to the National Park Service on the Underground Railroad project and is writing a history of African Americans in the Far West from 1945 to the present.
  • Sumi Cho, Ph.D is an associate professor at DePaul University College of Law a member of the Society of American Law Teachers Board of Governors, the Association for Asian American Studies and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.  She earned  a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.  An distinguished professor, she has taught in various institutions of higher learning, on subjects ranging from gender and ethnic studies to law and Asian American studies, as well as given numerous talks and presentations in these subject areas.  As a researcher, she has been the recipient of many grants including the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund for Original Legal Scholarship Collaborative Project on Japanese American Internment.  Her most recent published works include “Historicizing Critical Race Theory’s Cutting Edge: Key Movements that Performed the Theory” and “Introduction to Symposium: Power, Pedagogy and Praxis: Moving the Classroom to Action.” 
  • Bettye Gardner, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Coppin State University.  She graduated from Howard University with a BA and MA and earned her doctorate at George Washington University.  She has served as consultant and director for many projects, such as consultant for the D.C. Board of Education and principal investigator for the film, “Afro-Americans Face the City: Black Baltimore.”  Dr. Gardner has had a long career in education, starting as assistant professor and moving up to positions as dean and chair of departments.  She has served as national president of ASALH, co-chairman for the National Conference on Historically Black Colleges, and co-chairman for the Conference on Baltimore History.  Her numerous publications include articles such as, “African-American Women as Agents of Change,” “Jane Ellen McAllister,” and “The Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History.” 
  • Juan Gomez-Quinones, Ph.D., is a professor of history and former director of the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California at Los Angeles.  He specializes in the fields of political, labor, intellectual, and cultural history.  He earned his B.A. in literature, M.A. in Latin American studies, and Ph.D. in history at UCLA.  He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of California State University and Colleges and Commissioner of WASC Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.  His many publications include Mexican American Labor, 1790 – 1990.    Gomez-Quinones is active in civil rights, electoral politics, labor, immigration, legal defense, and youth leadership issues in organizations such as The Congress of Mexican-American Unity and The Urban Coalition.  His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Scholar of the Year Award from the National Association of Chicano Studies at Albuquerque, New Mexico (1990). 
  • William Gwaltney is currently Chief of Interpretation at Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado.   He is responsible for the interpretation and historic preservation in one of America’s largest national parks.  He had previously served as superintendent at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in southwestern Wyoming, and at the Booker T. Washington National Monument in southwestern Virginia.  He formerly worked as an interpretive specialist for the National Park Services in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in Washington, DC.  Mr. Gwaltney has been involved with outdoor education for over twenty-five years and began his career as a National Park Ranger in 1978 in the nation’s capitol.  He has served as a technical assistant on the film Glory, and has been involved in numerous documentaries including:  The True Story of Glory Continues, The Wild West, and films such as Queen.  He wrote and designed “Buffalo Soldiers West,” a traveling exhibit about the role black soldiers had in America’s post Civil War frontier Army. 
  • Gerald Horne, Ph.D., professor of history, African & Afro-American Studies, and Communication studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  He earned his B.A. at Princeton University, his J.D. at the University of California-Berkeley, and his Masters in philosophy and Ph.D. at Columbia University.  He has served as director of Institute of African-American Research and the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center of the University of North Carolina.  Gerald Horne has been a professor in many national and international universities including the University of Hong Kong, University of California-Santa Barbara, and Sarah Lawrence College in New York City where he taught history and law.  His publications include Class Struggle in Hollywood:  Moguls, Mobsters, Stars, Reds and Trade Unionist 1930 – 1950, From the Barrel Of A Gun:  The U.S. and The War Against Zimbabwe 1965 – 1980, Race Woman:  The lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois, Black Liberation/Red Scare:  Ben Davis And The Communist Party, Communist Front? The Civil Rights Congress 1946 – 1956, and Black And Red:  W.E.B. Du Bois And The Afro-American Response to the Cold War 1944-1963.
  • Patricia Nelson Limerick, Ph.D. is a Western American Historian with a particular interest in ethnic and environmental history.  She received her B.A. in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.  For four years she taught at Harvard University as an Assistant professor of History, before joining the faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  At CU, she teaches a variety of courses and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center of the American West and the Associate Director of the Minority Arts and Sciences Program.  She is the recipient of a number of awards and honorary appointments including State Humanist of the Year from the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities and the MacArthur Fellowship.  Dr. Limerick has published a wide variety of books, articles and reviews, the best known of which is The Legacy of Conquest.  .  A collection of her essays, Something in the Soil: Legacies and Reckonings in the New West, was published in March 2000 and she is currently working on an edited collection of essays, Justice for All: Racial Equity and Environmental Well-Being. 
  • Rick Moss has been the Curator of History at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles since 1990.  He earned the B.A. degree in history from UCLA, and the M.A. in history from the University of California at Riverside.  During his tenure Moss has curated major exhibitions and created numerous public programs that examine the depth and breadth of the experiences of people of African decent in North America and the Diaspora.  The most recent include “Rhythms of the Soul: African American Instruments in the Diaspora,” “The Life and Times of Harry Adams,” and “Natchez on the Mississippi.”  Mr. Moss has written, and continues to write for historical and museum publications such as the California History magazine and The Public Historian.  His essays include Shades of LA: Search for Visual Ethnic and Cultural History and “Not Quite paradise: The Development of the African American Community in Los Angeles through 1950."  He is seen on both local and nationally syndicated television, and is an active consultant to both public and private enterprise. 
  • Cornel Pewewardy, Ph.D., is assistant professor in the department of teaching and leadership at the School of Education with the University of Kansas where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in multicultural education and culture.  He holds a doctorate in education administration from the Pennsylvania State University.  He has focused on linguistic imperialism, critical pedagogy, multicultural education, and culture and education of indigenous people.  He is currently studying and writing about why educational institutions use indigenous peoples as sport mascots in school related activities.  Dr. Pewewardy has been the recipient of various honors and awards, including the Big XII Indian Faculty Member of the Year Award, the National Committee for School Desegregation Award, and the National Indian Educator of the Year Award. 
  • Harry Robinson, Ph.D., for the last 25 years, has served as President/CEO of the African American Museum along with several other administrative positions at Bishop College including special assistant to the president and vice president for development.  He received a B.S. from Southern University, a Master’s degree in library Science from Atlanta University and a doctorate degree from the University of Illinois.  His education was furthered in museum management and art history at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin and Dallas.  He has dedicated his career and directed his energies towards establishing a Museum that will be a tribute to the heritage of the black people not only in Dallas, but nationwide.  He has carried this philosophy with him and has focused on it throughout life’s career where he has served in various capacities with: The Society of Southwest Archivists, the American Library Association and President of the African American Museums Association. 
  • Beverly Robinson, Ph.D., is a professor at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television since 1978 and present Executive Chair of the School’s faculty, specializes in history and criticism and folklore studies.  Formerly the Executive Director of the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame, Inc, and Chair of the African Studies Program at UCLA, she has written numerous articles on African American culture, theater and film, and a researchers and dramaturge for theater, film and television.  Her professional activities have included working with the Mark Taper Form, the Goodman Theater, the Ahamanson Theater and American Conservatory Theater, as well as play and television productions of “Miss Evers’ Boys,” “Nightjohn,” the Biography productions of Sidney Poitier and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and numerous feature films including The Color Purple, The Big Easy and a forthcoming film on the work of Alice Childress.
  • Frank Schubert, Ph.D. is chief of Joint operational history in the Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He is a graduate of Howard University (BA, 1965), the University of Wyoming (MA, 1970), and the University of Toledo (PhD, 1977), and a Vietnam veteran.  Dr. Schubert’s twenty-four years as a Department of Defense historian include thirteen with the Army Corps of Engineers, during which he wrote extensively on exploration of the American West and various aspects of military construction.  His works include; Buffalo Soldiers, Braves, and the Brass: the Story of Fort Robinson, Nebraska, and  Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898. 
  • Michael Searles is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Augusta State University.  As “Cowboy Mike” he has conducted numerous demonstrations on the black cowboy for elementary, middle and high schools as well as colleges, bringing the “real” west to life and placing African-Americans in their proper relationship to that history.  He received his B.A. from Southern Illinois University, his M.A. from Howard University, certification in education from Augusta State University and is a doctoral candidate, in history, at The Union Institute.  A widely published author, his most recent publications include, “Nigger Add-Addison Jones: Black, West Texas Cowboy,” “The Black Cowboy Yesterday and Today: A Hard Won Reputation,” and “‘Taking Out the Buck and Putting in a Trick’: The Black Cowboy’s Art of Breaking and Keeping a Good Cow Horse.” 
  • Alonzo N. Smith, Ph.D. is currently a research historian in the Division of Cultural History at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and a adjunct professor of African History at Montgomery College in Rockville Maryland.  He lived for four years in Africa, spending three years on the Ivory Coast and one in Sierra Leone.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown university, Master of Arts and History from Howard University and Doctorate in African American History from UCLA.  He is the author of several works on African American history and culture, including Visions of Freedom on the Great Plains: An Illustrated History of African Americans in Nebraska, co-authored with Bertha W. Calloway and published in 1998.  He served as the conference planner and coordinator for the program “A Quest for Freedom.”
  • Paul Stewart’s childhood interest in learning about black cowboys led to a lifetime of collecting important artifacts, photographs and letters chronicling the history of African American western pioneers, cowboys, and entrepreneurs.  In 1981, he founded the Black American West Museum in Denver Colorado where some of his collection is still on display and over the years has made his collection available to various societies and public institutions.  Since 1979 he has been in demand as a lecturer in classrooms throughout the country and the Denver metro area.  He has been the recipient of many awards including the Black Educator’s United Award, the George Washington Medal of Honor and the Denver Decade Award for outstanding citizenship.  He has aided the community serving on the on a number of boards including the Denver Downtown Planning Board the Educational Coalition of Summit Advisory board and the Colorado Historical Society.  Mr. Stewart has written two books, Westward Soul and Black Cowboys and was also the co-producer of two videos on the history of African Americans in the West.  His latest accomplishment was being inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame in April of 2000. 
  • Rowena Stewart is the current executive director of the Museums at 18th & Vine, which includes the American Jazz Museum, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Visitors Center and the restoration of the Gem Theater.  Previous positions include executive director of Motown Historical Museum, where she worked in partnership with the Henry Ford Museum to display a major Motown Exhibit that became a one of the most popular tourist attractions for the region.  She was executive director for the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, where she developed an exhibition department and a collection department that increased its holdings from 5,000 to more than 300,000 items in the time she was with the museum.  She has been awarded with a Doctorate of Humanities Award, American Association for State and Local History Merit Award, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from African American Association of Museums. 
  • Quintard Taylor, Ph.D., professor of American History at the University of Washington, is the author of In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990 and The Forging of a Black Community: A History of Seattle’s Central District from 1870 Through the Civil Rights Era.  The author of over forty articles on African American Western History, African American, African, Afro-Brazilian, and comparative ethnic history, Dr. Taylor has contributed to various scholarly journals as well as a number of other books, encyclopedias and anthologies.  These articles include “African Americans on the American Frontier,” “Through the Prism of Race: The Meaning of African American History in the American West,” and “Blacks and Asians in a White City: Japanese Americans and African Americans in Seattle, 1890-1040.”  His “From Esteban to Rodney King: Five Centuries of African American History in the West” won the Vivian A. Paladin Award from the Montana Historical Society for the best article to appear in the journal in 1996-97.  Dr. Taylor’s current projects include two anthologies: Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California, 1769-1997 and a Twentieth Century history of African American westerns 

The Performers
The American Jazz Museum All-Stars

      As early as 1879, African Americans began moving west to escape the consistent and often brutal discrimination and racial prejudice.  In addition, there were opportunities for new beginnings in the cities.  These migrations continued well into the 20th century, increasing during or after the two World Wars.  As the African Americans moved, so did their music.  Ultimately, the styles of blues performance that was so prevalent in southern Black communities became the basis for a regional sound of blues and jazz performance rooted in the territories that included the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.
      In the ‘20s, ‘30s, and 40s, Kansas City’s 18th & Vine historic jazz district was a place filled with colorful clubs, energetic and sensuous dance, and all-night jam sessions.  It was here that the bands of Joe Turner developed his signture blues singing styule and Charles “Yardbird” Parker began his career with Jay McShann.  Also, here in the 18th & Vine historic jazz district, blues-based musical styles were born and recognized worldwide as the Kansas City style jazz sound.  18th & Vine was the heart and soul of the African community – a business community by day and at night, it bridged the community of blacks and whites.
      Many musicians who traveled through Kansas City made the historic pilgrimage to the Mutual Musicians Foundation, established in 1929, in the historic 18th & Vine jazz district.  Here they played late night jam sessions or cuttin’ sessions that began at midnight and often did not end before daybreak.   To this day, late night jam sessions still occur at the Mutual Musicians Foundation in the historic jazz district.  We have selected 11 of Kansas City’s top jazz musicians to replicate the sound of  Kansas City jazz in an authentic jam session.   We are pleased to present the American Jazz Museum All Stars.

Saxophone – Ahmad Alaadeen
Primarily known as Alaadeen, the saxophonist was a student of Leo H. Davis, Charlie Parker’s teacher.  Alaadeen has spent periods of time living in New York, Chicago, Denver, St. Louis and San Antonio.  He has also p[layed with Motown Stars Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, and Sam Cooke.

Trumpet/Flugelhorn – Stan Kessler
Band leader, arranger, composer and educator Stan Kessler is a premiere Kansas City jazzman.  Kessler’s musical expertise spans from the Blues to Brasilian and Afro0Cuban jazz.  Leader of one of Kansas City’s most popular bands, the Sons of Brasi, Kessler has performed with such jazz artists as Clark Terry, Bob Kindred and Frank Mantooth 

Trombone – Tim Perryman
Tim Perryman is a bright light on Kansas City’s musical score.   This nartive-born trombone player is the manifestation of this city’s musical heritage.  Perry has toured throughout the United States and Africa.  In New York, he hosted jam sessions in Harlem’s St Nick club.  Dunn has toured nd performed with artists such as Bobby Watson, George Duke Orchestra.

Saxophone – Gerald Dunn
Gerald Dunn’s fluid musical style and business savvy has established this alto/tenor saxophonist as a staple on Kansas City’s jazz scene. A Texas native, he is the leader of the popular Dunn/Freeman Mix, the Music Coordinator for the American Jazz Museum, and a local music educator. Mr. Dunn has toured and performed with artists such as Bobby Watson, Kevin Mahogany, and Illinois Jacquet Big Band.

Bass – Tyrone Clark
Born in Chicago, Tyrone Clark has been playing professionally since age 18.  He has perfomed with such artists as Ahmad Alaadeeen, Milt Jackson, Max roach, Billy Taylor, Kevin Mahogany and Lisa Henry.  He has toured in Japan, Europe, and the United States, and was featured in the Robert Altman film, “Kansas City.”

Violin - Claude “Fiddler” Wiliams
At 92 years of age, violinist  Claude “Fiddler” Williams’ career has spanned much of the history of jazz, and he is still going strong.  This Muskogee, Oklahoma native moved to Kansas City in 1927 and has played with some of the most noted musicians in America, including Jay McShann, Nat “King” Cole, mary Lou Williams, Buddy Take, and Count Basie.  Williams’ 2000 release, Swinging the Blues, eloquently demonstrates why his career has spanned seven decades.

Pianist – Chris Clarke
Chris Clarke, a New York native, is a young, exciting pianist.  He was classically trained at the School of Performing Arts, the Mahattan School of Music, Julliard, and Berkeley in Boston.  He has played at Carnegie hall, opposite Andre Watts, at the Lincoln Center with the New York Symphony, and with the Lionel Hampton All Stars.  In 1999 Chris released his debut CD entitled “Straight from the Heart.

Drummer – Mike Warren
Mike Warren is a dynamic young drummer who has performed alongside many legends in his expanding career, which includes Winton Marsalis, Billy Taylor, Charles McPherson, Jay McShann, and Al Grey.  During his years at the University of Kansas he received four Downbeat awards.  While taking a break from his medical studies, Mike can often be heard around Kansas City.

Vocalist – Kevin Mahogany
Kevin Mahogany is frequently called one of the smoothest balladeers around today.  This Kansas City native is recognized as “the standout jazz vocalist.”  Kevin Mahogany’s self-titled 1996 Warner Bros debut album received abundant praise and acclaim establishing him as the quintessential male jazz vocalist.  He appeared in Robert Altman’s film Kansas City, portraying a character inspired by Big Joe Turner.    Mr Mahogany appears on the upcoming Malpaso release Eastwood After Hours, a Clint Eastwood ensemble project performed and recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 2000.

Vocalist – Ida McBeth
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, this versatile performer, recording artist and song stylist extraordinaire is hailed as “the complete entertainer.”  Ida was exposed to such greats as Billy eckstine, Sarah Vaughn and Nat King Cole   The New York Times has applauded McBeth’s technique, taste and sass.  Her awards include Best Female Jazz Vocalist, Entertainer of the Year, a uniquely Kansas City entertainer award.   Ms. Mc Beth wowed the nation with her soulful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner at the Democratic National Convention.

Saxophone – Bobby Watson
Bobby Watson has a right and brassy sound that will never be mistaken for anyone else’s.  Watson trained at the University of Miami with Bruce Hornsby and Gotleib.  In addition to serving as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, he has worked with Max Roach, Louis Hayes and George Coleman.  After many years of living in New York, Mr. Watson returns to his hometown, as the Director of Jazz Studies for the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) was founded with an appropriation from the U.S. Congress in recognition of the importance of jazz in American cultural and its status as a national treasure.  The orchestra, led by Artistic and Musical Director, David N. Baker, serves as the orchestra-in-residence at the National museum of American History, Division of Cultural History.  The orchestra re-creates big band jazz as its composers and arrangers intended it to be played, stripping away intervening changes and alterations.  The SJMO has rediscovered old classics, premiered new discoveries, and more recently has begun premiering new works.  Composed of 18 musicians drawn from across the United States, the orchestra plays authentic and compelling performances of the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, and many other masters.  The SJMO presents free weekend concerts to visitors and residents of the nation’s capital, educational workshops, tours nationally and internationally, and offers its own radio series, “Jazz Smithsonian,” heard on more than 88 public radio stations across the United States and in six nations.
Saxophone – Charlie Young
Charlie Young is a professor of music at Howard University.  He was a featured soloist with the Virginia Beach Symphony and has recorded with his own quintet, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Bobby Thomas band, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the East Coast Saxophone Quartet.  Young has also performed in concert with Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Rosemary Cloony and James Moody.
Trumpet – Tom Williams
Tom Williams has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, Joe Williams, Cleo Laine, and among others.  Williams has recorded with Jimmy Heath, Gary Bartz and as a leader has released two compact discs on the Criss Cross label including, Introducing Tom Williams and Straight Street.
Brass – James King
James King, from Huston Texas, has played with Gary Bartz, Ornette Cobb, and Teddy Wilson.  He has also recorded with trumpeter Malachi Thompson and Ron Holloway.

Vibes – Chuck Redd
Chuck Redd made his international debut on drums with the Charlie Byrd Trio in 1980.  His most noteworthy performances include a recital at the White House with Barney Kessel, concerts at Carnegie Hall with Mel Torme, and a tour with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Africa.  He recently released his first compact disc as a vibraphonist, Stomp, Look and Listen, on the Concord Jazz label.

Drums – Ken Kimery
Ken Kimery began his career in music as a percussionist at age sixteen.  His interest in music led to perfomacnes with Charles McPherson, Peter Sprague, Bob Magnusson, and Barney Kessel.  Since 1995, he has performed with the Smithsonian Jazz Trio and bassist Keter Bettus.  Kimery is also the Associate Producer of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Vocalist – James Zimmerman
James Zimmerman performed for President Clinton’s 1992 inaugural celebration, with Doug Carn and Ron Holloway, and throughout the Washington-Baltimore area.  He has appeared as the opening act for artists such as Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Smith

Living History Interpreters

Msgt. Lee N. Coffee, Jr. is a motivational speaker and extensive researcher of Afro-American history in the American West.  He graduated from the Cameron University.  Through his portrayal of Sergeant Emanuel Stance, he has told over 10,000 people in audiences that span fifteen states about the rich history that is missing from the pages of our textbooks. Mr. Coffee has written many articles and has given his insights for books, which include Black Cowboys of Texas, Lest We Forget, and “He had a Dream.”  He has also been interviewed numerous times by local radio and television stations about his presentations. 

Janice “Christi” Cole, actress and arts administrator, attended Carnegie-Mellon University and graduated with a degree in the field of theatre.  She has performed many and various roles in Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and New York City.  Some of the roles she has performed include Mama from “A Raisin in the Sun,” and Bernice from “Coming Apart Together.”  She has also performed in local & national film, radio, and commercial releases.  She is  an active member and working actor through the performing arts unions: “Screen Actors Guild” and “The American Federation of Television and Radio Artist.”  She lives and works in the Washington Metropolitan area where she participates in film and stage productions as time allows.  Her most current production is entitled “Music Extravaganza”

William Grimmette  is a writer, director, master storyteller, professional actor, motivational speaker, and a living history performer.  He earned a B.A. in psychology, a Masters degree in Psychology, and post graduate credits in education.  He.  He is past president of the National Association of Black Storytellers and a perennial performer with the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institutions.  Mr. Grimmette has performed around the country in many venues and in a variety of stage genre.  He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theater in Landsberg, and New York’s Cherry Lane theater.  He has starred in television shows, like “In the Heat of the Night,” and in such films as “Her Alibi” and “To Heal A Nation”.  He is currently publishing his first book of favorite original stories called Grimmette’s Legends.  Grimmette is a member of The Screen Actors Guild, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and The National Storytellers Foundation.
Sandra Kamusikiri is a professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino, where, for the past fifteen years, she has taught courses in African American literature and language, British literature and romantic prose and poetry.  She earned her M.A. at the University of Iowa and both her B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside.  She is the author of numerous articles and reviews, and is co-editor of the Modern Language Association’s Writing Assessment:  Politics, Policies, and Practice.  She is currently working on a book on the African heritage of the slave narratives.  As part of a traveling Chautauqua funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Dr. Kamusikiri has appeared throughout the United States as Maria W. Stewart, a free Black woman who lived in Boston in the 1820’s and 1830’s.  Maria Stewart was the first American born woman to lecture in public on political themes, and was probably the first African American to lecture in defense of women’s rights.
Kimberly Kelly is an exhibitions manager and coordinates Smithsonian affiliations with external institutions at the National Museum of American History.  She is also a Ford Foundation Scholar in the masters program in European decorative arts at the Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt Museum,  She joined NMAH in 1988 for the Field to Factory exhibition, and later, she created the Young Interpreters Program, presenting talented student actors in the exhibition setting.  She has created and performs one-woman historical characterizations for the National Park Service and other groups. 

Smithsonian Institution

Lawrence M. Small, Secretary
Sheila P. Burke, Undersecretary for American Museums 
  And National Programs
National Museum of American History
Spencer R. Crew, Director
Martha Moore, Deputy Director
Valeska Hilbig, Public Affairs Specialist
Elisabeth Little, Director, Office of Special Events

Office of Public Services
Nancy Growald Brooks, Editor
Susan, Walther, Publications Specialist
Lydia Wallick, Publications Specialist

Office of Curatorial Affairs
James B. Gardner, Acting Associate Director

Division of Cultural History
Rex Ellis, Chair
Stacy Kluck, Assistant Chair
Gary Sturm, Assistant Chair for Special Projects
Jane Woodall, Office Manager
David Hill, Administrative Assistant
Alonzo N. Smith, Research Historian

Program in African American Culture

Niani Kilkenny, Director
Luvenia A. George, Coordinator, Duke Ellington
Youth Project
Alonzo N. Smith, Research Historian and Program Developer
A Quest For Freedom Committee
Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Conference Chair
Quintard Taylor, Principal Scholar
Alonzo N. Smith, Program Researcher and Developer
Herbert G. Ruffin, II, Assistant Program Developer and Coordinator

Rashida Goodwin, Fall, 1999
Rebecca Short, Fall, 1999
Heather Austin, Summer, 2000
Andrew Kahrl, Summer, 2000
Courtney Cooper, Fall, 2000
Amanda Fisher, Fall, 2000
Alexis Bowens, Winter, 2001
Babe-Dee L. Mason, Summer, 2000
Kimberley Foote, Fall, 2000
Kimberly King, Fall, 2000

Special Thanks

Jamesina Henderson, Executive Director, California African American Museum
Nancy McKinney, Deputy Director, California African American Museum
Rowena Stewart, Director, American Jazz Museum
Richard Yarborough, Director, Center for Afro American Studies, UCLA

Smithsonian Affiliate

The American Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine


The Irving Caesar Lifetime Trust Partnership
The Center for African American Studies, UCLA
The California African American Museum
Midwest Express Airlines

A Quest for Freedom
Room 4208, MRC 616
National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C. 20560-0616

Fax: 202-786-2883

Contact Webmaster @: aquestwebmaster

The National Museum of American History is located between 12th and 14th Sts. on Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily; closed December 25. 

Admission is free. Museum exhibition areas, performance spaces, and most rest rooms accomodate wheel-chairs. Sign language and oral
interpreters are available on one week's advance request.

America's Racial Frontier Cowboys, "Indians" and Buffalo Soldiers
From Nicodemus to Central Avenue West of the 98th Meridian
Black West Literature, Theater and Film "The Kansas City Jam"
IndexContentsIntroductionMessage from the AffiliateKeynote AddressThe ConferenceThe AMerican Jazz MuseumBibliographyWestern History ResourcesImage SourcesContactGo to linked table