Loading Events

Special Exhibit


I Have a Voice: Tennessee’s African American Musical Heritage 

Dates: February 14—April 30, 2019

The Volunteer State has been the birthplace of some of the most influential music in the world, illustrated by the Beale Street blues clubs in Memphis, the R&B scene on Nashville’s Jefferson Street, and Knoxville’s Gem Theater. I Have a Voice gives a snapshot of African American Tennesseans’ important contribution to American music, including spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and soul music. In turn, their music has influenced and enriched music around the world. From the early blues legends of W. C. Handy and Bessie Smith to the soul hits of STAX Records in Memphis, visitors can learn about various performers, getting the chance to hear the voices and the stories of many of the African American musicians from Tennessee who made their mark on American music and beyond.

I Have a Voice: Tennessee’s African American Musical Heritage has been organized by the Tennessee State Museum. It is on display in the museum’s Learning Center through April 30, 2019.

Special thanks to Wells Fargo for their support of this exhibit and its related programming.

Companion Programming

Thursday, February 21 – Tennessee State Museum curator Rob DeHart will be in the museum’s Performance Theater on  to explore the diverse musical heritage of Tennessee through artifacts in the Tennessee State Museum.

Sunday, April 28, 3:30pm – Performance by ETSU Gospel Choir


museum Bristol rhythm & roots Reunion Radio

MUSEUM: 101 Country Music Way
Bristol, VA 24201
(423) 573-1927

BUSINESS OFFICE: 416 State Street, Suite A
Bristol, TN 37620
(423) 573-1927