A local author introduces young people to the roots of jazz music » WDET 101.9 FM

Sasha Rayyn

Robin Wilson says his house growing up was full of music. His mother sang and his father had a recording studio in the basement. It was the Motown era and the house was filled with the music of the Marvelettes, Stevie Wonder and other great Motown names. And, she said, the house was often filled with jazz.

Wilson says she wrote Mama got rhythm and daddy got rhythm expose young people to jazz and its influence.

“In the script, there’s also a lot of research that I did to incorporate historical references,” Wilson says. “So…young readers, they can really understand how jazz relates to the music they listen to today.”

Robin Wilson says she wrote Mama got rhythm and daddy got rhythm expose young people to jazz and its influence.

The book was originally published in 2009 but was reissued last year. It features beautiful illustrations by a now well-known artist: Mario Moore.

Wilson says she recruited him for the project when Moore was a student at the College for Creative Studies.

“He hadn’t become this big name that he is today. Now he’s graduated from Yale and I’m really proud of him,” Wilson says. “And so it’s an honor to be able to say that he did the illustrations for my book because he has also continued to do amazing things since then.”

Wilson teaches French at Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies in Detroit. She says she uses music as an educational tool when she teaches. When her book was published, she saw a chance to introduce students to jazz.

“When I was playing some of the older classics, they were like, ‘We don’t like jazz.’ And I said, ‘Well, you were just jamming to Trombone Shorty, and that’s jazz,’ she said. heard, they were exposed to it.

“And I hope they continue to explore jazz in some way…I think even the younger generation can find something they really enjoy.”

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  • Sascha Raiyn is an education reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from Detroit and grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.

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Ada J. Kenney