America’s Music, an innovative series of 25 library events exploring uniquely American musical genres, continues through March at Oak Park Public Library, Main Library, 834 Lake St., Oak Park. Covering blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo and hip hop, the innovative series features films, lectures, concerts, art and evenings especially for teens. The series examines the evolution of popular music, and its deep connections to our history and culture.


At this series’ core are carefully selected documentary films, spanning genres from Blues to Hip-Hop. Each film will be introduced by George Bailey, Columbia professor, Jazz musician, and long-time Oak Park resident. As the resident scholar, Bailey will lead discussions following each of the documentary films, shown at 7 pm Tuesdays at the Main Library Veterans Room.

March 5:  Country and Bluegrass, High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music. Weaving haunting archival footage and photographs from the 1930s and 40s with toe-tapping live shows, this film traces the origins of bluegrass music from the Kentucky hills of Appalachia through the innovations which shaped its current form.

March 12:  Rock, The History of Rock n Roll: Episode 6, Plugging In. This episode from the comprehensive 10-part series on rock and roll centers on the reinvention of rock in the 1960s, including a fateful meeting between Bob Dylan and the Beatles in London.

March 19: Latin Music USA, Episode One. Bridges Narrated by Jimmy Smits, Bridges explores mambo, the Cuban hybrid of traditional dance infused with syncopated Afro-Caribbean rhythms that migrated to New York City from Havana in the 1940s.

March 19: From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale. Hip hop was created and performed first by Jamaican and African American youth, and then Latinos, in abandoned parks and burned-out buildings in the South Bronx as an alternative to gang violence.


March 16: The Fuzz & the Fury Concert, 3 pm. Start out your Saturday night early with a live performance by Chicago blues-funk-soul-rock fusion band, The Fuzz and the Fury. The band “adheres to this energetic hullabaloo of genres, combining playfulness with refined musicality and decades of combined stage experience.”

It plays covers from all over the music spectrum, representing every generation. Favorite artists include Aretha Franklin, Alanis Morissette, the Black Keys, Dr. John, the Brand New Heavies, the Rolling Stones, Bill Withers, and the Beatles.

March 20: Oak Park River Forest High School Spoken Word Performance, 7 pm. Hear some of Chicago’s best teen hip hop poetry – straight from Kevin Coval’s “Louder Than a Bomb” competition.

March 21: Teen Music Video Screening, 7 pm. In conjunction with America's Music, budding filmmakers at Oak Park River Forest High School have created 3- to 4-minute music videos for their favorite songs. A panel of filmmakers, Oak Park River Forest High School graduates now in New York City, will select the top three to be revealed at this special screening.

March 30: Golden Horse Ranch Band Square Dance, 3 pm. Join us for the final live performance in "America's Music" with Chicago's own Golden Horse Ranch Band. The band plays a raucous set of square dances, waltzs, contra and swing dances in the tradition of old time barn dances. Third generation caller Annie Coleman will teach you in no time how to swing like thunder and dip the oyster. Grab a partner or come ready to mingle. Either way, y’all won’t be disappointed.


These remarkable portrayals of 20th Century music legends are introduced and discussed after each screening by local film historian Doug Deuchler. Free showings at 1:30 pm Mondays in the Main Library Veterans Room.

March 4:  What's Love Got To Do With It? (1993). Singer Tina Turner (Angela Bassett) achieves stardom and gains the courage to break free from her abusive husband Ike (Laurence Fishburne).

March 11:  Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).  In an Oscar winning performance, Sissy Spacek portrays country and western singer Loretta Lynn's rise from backwoods poverty to fame and fortune.

For complete details on all 25 events, visit or pick up copies of America’s Music schedules at any Oak Park Public Library location.

The Oak Park Public Library is one of 50 sites nationwide selected to host this program series, created by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music. America’s Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.