Oral History Interviews

Roy Brooks: Drumist 1938-2005

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Not a drummer, but a drumist Growing up in a Detroit with pianos in every house, Roy Brooks found the beginnings of his self-described purpose: to create a musical truth. Though Brooks received guidance from several of his more well-known contemporaries — Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane among them — he chose to forge his […]

Barbara Martin

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“As my grandma said whenever we did something of accomplishment, whenever she was very proud of us she would say, ‘I feel right rich.’ … I liked it when my grandma said that about me. If we don’t maintain this heritage all the connections of our musical ancestry then… we won’t have that feeling. As one who has had it, I don’t want generations to come, not to.”

Thomas “Beans” Bowles: 1926-2000

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 The ‘Unknown Artist’ No More Born in South Bend, Indiana, Thomas “Beans” Bowles began his musical as a child before moving to Detroit at the age of 17 to study at Wayne State University. He spent time touring with a U.S. Navy band before returning to Detroit to play as both a touring and […]