Roots and Reason: A Celebration of American Roots MusicLionel Loueke
Lionel Loueke is a Berklee alumnus who grew up in Benin, West Africa. His new album, Karibu, combines West African roots traditions with jazz. Loueke also appears on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters. Learn more about the Roots and Reason series.
This year's Africana Studies Music Programming celebrates the richness of America’s roots music traditions. The roots music artist is the chronicler of the ongoing story of America, told through song. Roots music is the intermingling of cross-cultural influences. Johnny Cash once said, "Every successful country singer I know has a humble background. . . and the colored blues has been a part of their musical heritage. Every one of them bar none. Elvis will tell you himself that where he got his style is from colored blues singers." From this fusion and sharing of American cultures came spirituals, blues, gospel, folk, country, and bluegrass—the roots of all American popular music.