Bau Graves, Martez Rucker and the great tradition of American protest music

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(L-R): Bau Graves, Martez Rucker and Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra is joined by James “Bau” Graves, executive director of the Old Town School of Folk Music, and Columbia College music professor Martez Rucker for a discussion on the tradition of American protest music.  They talk about a protest song’s function to get a movement’s message across in an accessible way and how the lack of music in recent marches has left a “void”, origins of the form, like Sam Cooke’s church background for “A Change is Gonna Come”, the risk of getting too heavy-handed in delivering your message, the Old Town School’s connection to McCarthyism in the ’50’s, and more.

Dave, Bau and Martez appear on the next Chicago Voices panel on protest music at the Lyric Opera on Saturday, 2/4.