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Celebrate the impact of Black musicians, across decades and genres, at live shows this month

Smokey Robinson performs in concert at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Philadelphia.
Owen Sweeney
Smokey Robinson performs in concert at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Philadelphia.

KNKX recognizes and honors the contributions of Black musicians everyday. Celebrate their continuous impact during Black Music Appreciation Month with live events around the region.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter created the first Black Music Appreciation month, noting that it "celebrates the African American musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation's treasured cultural heritage."

Recognition of Black music is re-established annually in the U.S. by presidential proclamation. Over the years, it's been called Black Music Month, or African American Music Appreciation Month.

President Joe Biden issued his proclamation on May 31, recognizing June as Black Music Appreciation Month, acknowledging the music as "intricately woven into the tapestry of our Nation."

Biden added that "throughout the decades and across the country, Black music has fueled a myriad of genres -- from rhythm and blues to jazz, gospel, country, rap and more."

Elnah Jordan and Eric Verlinde

Elnah Jordan appears at Seattle's Royal Room on Juneteenth.

These local live music shows taking place during Black Music Appreciation Month feature Motown, classical, African-inspired grooves and, of course, jazz:

June 8-10: One of the most popular and enduring Motown groups of the 1960s, The Temptations are booked for four shows locally in Edmonds, Olympia, Tacoma and Bremerton.

June 11-12: Students from the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center (TUPAC) join the NW Sinfonietta and guest artists to perform a new ballet, with new works created by Black choreographers to music composed by Black classical composers. It's a free community event.

June 14-15: Bassist, broadcaster and educator Christian McBride brings his latest project, "A Christian McBride Situation" to Seattle's Jazz Alley for two nights.

June 16: More iconic Motown from singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma.

June 17-18: The newest little gem in Seattle's jazz scene, the restaurant Calluna, will feature NW favorites vocalist Gail Pettis on June 17 and pianist Marc Seales on June 18.

June 18-19: The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra welcomes their guest artist, saxophonist Tia Fuller for performances in Seattle and Kirkland.

Juneteenth: The South Hudson Music Project presents vocalist, songwriter and storyteller Elnah Jordan at the Royal Room in Seattle, and the Olympia-based Mazigazi band bring their African-inspired grooves to Tacoma's Spanish Ballroom for a feel-good Juneteenth dance party.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.