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Afro-American Music Institute

Member of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
Afro-American Music Institute

The mission of the Afro American Music Institute (AAMI) is to provide systematic, specialized instrumental training in all styles of the African American music traditions such as Jazz, Blues, Gospel and Negro Spirituals. In addition, the Institute provides a forum both in performing and recording opportunities for otherwise undiscovered talent in the Greater Pittsburgh Community. The Institute conveys the heritage of African Americans through the medium of music so others will continue to appreciate the Black contribution to world culture.

Thirty-one years ago in the basement of an inner-city church at St. James A.M.E. Church, in Pittsburgh, PA, a piece of a dream began unfolding; the dreamer wished to develop a curriculum devoted to the total experience in the Afro-American musical tradition. At the center of this dream was the desire to preserve the cultural tradition and quality of a music that is widely recognized today as an original American art form. A couple of miles away, another piece of this dream was being played out in a classroom at the University of Pittsburgh, where James Johnson was laying the foundation for a comprehensive curriculum that would fall under the umbrella of an inner-city program called The Afro-American Music Institute (AAMI).

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