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Indiana University Bloomington

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August 10, 2006


Indiana University's Archives of African American Music and Culture launched a new online music initiative on June 1 to kick off Black Music Month 2006, furthering its mission of black arts education and promotion. Black Grooves ( is a major new website that provides information on new releases and reissues in gospel, blues, jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, rhythm & blues, and other popular genres, as well as classical music composed or performed by black artists. An accompanying free newsletter is be available to subscribers and also distributed to various music-related email distribution lists.
      "This is yet another way the AAAMC is reaching out not only to the scholarly community, but to thepublic at large," says Archives Director Dr. Portia Maultsby. "A site like Black Grooves provides African American music labels with a focal point for promotion while providing the public with the critical insights of our reviewers."
      Black Grooves' target audience includes students as well as scholars, collectors, librarians, and anyone else seeking information on the latest black music releases. The site features reviews of especially noteworthy discs, with special attention given to historical reissues and releases by small independent and foreign labels that aren't often covered in the mainstream media.

      "While there are a number of music review sites devoted to specific genres, our approach is much more comprehensive, covering all black music and artists" according to Brenda Nelson-Strauss, the AAAMC's Head of Collections and editor of Black Grooves. "As a librarian and collector, I am constantly searching for quality releases and reissues of black popular and gospel music, and much of this is released on very small, hard-to-find labels with limited distribution. Through the website and compilation of a monthly newsletter, we hope others will benefit from our extensive research, and that the ultimate result will be greater representation of black music in the classroom and library."

      Recording labels can include mention of their new releases in Black Grooves by emailing, faxing or mailing press releases and purchasing information to the AAAMC.  Promotional copies of discs are requested for full length reviews. These recordings will also be cataloged on Worldcat and added to the Archives of African American Music and Culture (, a permanent collection of photographs, scores, videos, oral histories and recordings dedicated to the research and preservation of black culture.

      For more information, or to send press releases and promos, contact Brenda Nelson-Strauss, Black Grooves editor, at

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Archives of African American Music and Culture
Indiana University
2805 E. Tenth St., Suite 180-181
Bloomington, IN 47408-4662
Phone: (812) 855-8547
Fax: (812) 856-0333

Last updated: 4 May, 2011

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