By Raymond Ward
The DuSable Museum of African American History is pleased to announce that the award-winning musician and educator, Tammy McCann, has been named the Museum’s American Music Curator At Large. In her position, Ms. McCann will work with DuSable’s staff to cultivate and develop short- and long- term programs and permanent exhibits, which celebrate the musical artistry of the Black Diaspora, with a focus on American music, while also shining a spotlight on the unique musical history of Chicago, from the origins of Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Hip-Hop, to the current day significance of Chicago’s musical origins and historical connections.
In announcing the appointment, Perri Irmer, President and CEO of the DuSable Museum stated, “We are very pleased and proud to welcome Tammy McCann to our team. She comes to the DuSable Museum during a truly exciting time in our history, with so many great opportunities to utilize Tammy’s broad-based talent and experience. I am looking forward to accomplishing great things with her on our team!”
“Jazz, Blues, Gospel and Hip-Hop music are uniquely African American idioms. This music at its core was born of African slave songs and rhythms. Our music speaks to young and old alike and every culture has influenced music and musicians across the globe,” McCann said. She continues, “It’s an honor to join this historic institution, and I will endeavor to utilize my vast network of connections and collaborations to ensure world-class performances, educational opportunities and partnerships. The DuSable will continue to accomplish great things in the years ahead, and I am glad to join the team that will help to make that happen.”
Tammy McCann is an internationally recognized Jazz vocalist and is currently Artist In Residence for the Music Institute of Chicago. Ms. McCann is also Executive Director of the Brownville Jazz Retreat in Brownville, Nebraska. Her powerful, sultry and emotionally charged voice paints pictures and tells stories by merging her classical vocal technique and Gospel aesthetic with Jazz to create a sound that is completely her own.
As an educator, Tammy believes singing is a part of every human community, bringing us together and helping us to interact with one another. There is a pedagogy to Jazz vocal instruction, which requires an approach that can combine the “classroom and the bandstand” in a seamless way. Her teaching style meets the vocal student where they are and all instruction has a classical foundation with a focus on Jazz.
Tammy McCann has performed with such luminaries as Ramsey Lewis, NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman, John Clayton, Charles McPherson and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and also toured the world with the legendary Ray Charles as one of his background vocalists, “The Raelettes.” McCann has also thrilled audiences in festivals and clubs worldwide as well as the nation’s premier Jazz and concerts venues such as: Birdland, The Blue Note, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and Rose Hall, as well as Chicago’s Auditorium Theater, The Jazz Showcase and The Green Mill.