By Pat Prescott

June is Black Music Month and six time Grammy nominated producer, singer, songwriter, author and documentarian Kashif is celebrating with two nights of shows this weekend at the Catalina Jazz Club, featuring some of the artists he helped put on the map. Ray Parker Jr., Deniece Williams, Dawnn Lewis, Howard Johnson, Meli’sa Morgan and many others will be part of this annual celebration of the music that is one of America’s most popular exports. Kashif stopped by The WAVE studios to talk about the event, about being part of the very first celebration of Black Music month with then-President Jimmy Carter and a whole lot more.

Last year Kashif debuted his Black Music Month concert and almost everyone he’s ever worked with showed up including Evelyn Champagne King, Deniece Williams, Melba Moore, Howard Johnson, Kathy Sledge and more. He’s all set to do it again this weekend for two nights at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. Kashif has always been a student of music in general but R&B is his first love. He’s been working on a ten part TV documentary to tell the story of this American art form.

Kashif is proud to have been part of the very first celebration of Black Music Month. He was a member of the legendary New York band BT Express when they were invited to perform at the White House for then-President Jimmy Carter, who signed the bill that made June Black Music Month. Kashif believes it is important to celebrate Black Music and to chronicle the history so that the story can be told as it has been for other genres of music. He also feels strongly that the wonderfully talented people who have contributed to this art form deserve to have their stories told.

We talked about how R&B music has helped us through personal trials, heartbreaks and disappointments, healing us as only music can. It has also done a great job of reflecting social change. Artists like Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and many others have given us music that reflected the turbulent times of the sixties and seventies.

Younger generations have a lot to learn about the history of Black Music. We grew up listening to our parents’ music because back then, experiencing music was more of a shared experience. Today, everyone has an individual experience, downloading songs to their devices and plugging in their earphones to listen. Kashif hopes his documentary and shows like the ones this weekend will help to entertain and inform young people. Kashif is busy these days writing music, producing other artists and doing speaking engagements in support of his popular book, “Everything You Better Know About The Record Industry. We talked about what you should expect this weekend at Catalina and I think you’ll love it. Hope to see you there!

Kashif and Friends Live in Concert
June 17th and 18th
Two shows each night; doors open at 7PM and 10PM
Catalina Jazz Club
6725 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
Check out Kashif Saleem on Facebook


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