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I work on Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), a cultural celebration held every April to advance recognition of jazz as America’s original music, a global cultural treasure. JAM is celebrated in every state, the District of Columbia and 40 countries.
My best moment was finding and bringing surviving members of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm to the Smithsonian during JAM to honor them and begin developing a Sweethearts collection with curators. The Sweethearts are black, Asian, Native American and Latina women who as teens living in Mississippi in the 1930s formed the nation’s first, integrated female big band, playing music to earn an education. They devoted their lives to music, helping others and each other. In later years during the era of Jim Crow segregation, white women who joined the band bravely faced arrest and disguised themselves as black women to play in the band.
My advice is to believe in yourself and what inspires you. Always prepare, give more than required, and surround yourself with positive achievers who can inform and inspire you on your road to success.