Poet, social activist, playwright, essayist, and leading voice of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was also deeply in love with jazz.
Langston Hughes Reads His Own Poetry, Accompanied By Original Charles Mingus Compositions - An epic 1958 collaboration of amazing talents!
The First Book of Jazz by Langston Hughes (1955) - This wonderfully illustrated children's book by Langston Hughes is a great introduction to jazz for anyone!
The First Book of Jazz - This 5-minute video presents the words from Hughes' children's book accompanied by historic jazz-related photographs.
History of Jazz by Langston Hughes (Part One) - At the same time that he released the children's book mentioned above, he also released a book for adults. This is a rare recording of Langston Hughes reading the book aloud. Listen to Part Two here.
The Jazz Poetry of Langston Hughes - An online exhibit from the Library of Congress.
Jazz Poetry and Langston Hughes - National Endowment for the Arts profile of Hughes and his links to jazz.
Langston Hughes' Own Playlist of His 100 Favorite Jazz Recordings - Includes 81 recordings you can listen to for free online.
Jazz as Communication - In this short essay, Langston Hughes explains the power of jazz as a social, literary, and musical force.
Langston Hughes Reads Langston Hughes - Not all of these poems are jazz related, but how could I not encourage you to explore more of his poetry?