Jazz: Spiritual, Powerful, Transcendent

Jazz is a highly expressive art form, displaying the full range of musicians’ individual personalities, and thus of their spiritual, social, and political selves.


Black Classical: The History of Spiritual Jazz - an epic four-part, twelve-hour sampling of spiritual jazz spanning the years 1957 to 2012. Part 1 (with playlist); Part 2 (with playlist); Part 3 (with playlist); Part 4 (with playlist).
John and Alice Coltrane were among the jazz giants who energized the spiritual jazz genre. Here's a 1970 interview with Alice Coltrane.
A Love Supreme was John Coltrane's spiritual anthem of sorts. There is only one recording of him performing the song live. Listen to it here.
How Jazz Helped Fuel the 1960s Civil Rights Movement - a look at some of the ways that jazz music and musicians spoke to the world, and the world listened.
In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the Berlin Jazz Festival with the speech, On the Importance of Jazz. Although there is no recording of the speech, listen to several contemporary musicians present the speech in their own voices.
Nina Simone’s Live Performances of Her Poignant Civil Rights Protest Songs.
And lest we forget the children, check out A Child's Introduction to Jazz by Cannonball Adderley - Narrated by jazz great Cannonball Adderley. Featuring Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Thelonious Monk, and others.