"Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey" on "The Noshing with Nina Show"

For our Black History Month presentation for The Noshing with Nina Show, we decided to produce a two-part series on the documentary film Matthew Kennedy: One Man's Journey on the life of Nina's father Matthew Kennedy. The film had its world-premiere at the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) in 2007, where it was awarded the prize for Best Film by a Black Filmmaker. The film went on to be requested and screened at International Film Festivals worldwide.

Matthew Kennedy (1921-2014) was a world-renowned concert pianist, and was probably more recognized for his work as director of The Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville. Founded in 1871, the Fisk Jubilee Singers set out to raise money for the fledgling Fisk Free Colored School, known today as Fisk University, one of America's first HBCUs. The singers traveled internationally, performing for the crowned-heads of Europe, including Queen Victoria who proclaimed, "They sing so beautifully they must be from the Music City of the United States." This is why Nashville is called "Music City U.S.A." It is not because of country music!

The Fisk Jubilee Singers

Matthew Kennedy directed the Fisk Jubilee Singers from 1957 to 1986. The film is full of glorious music, and Nina Kennedy, the film's producer, gives the audience a guided tour of the film via her introductions of various clips.

Matthew Kennedy performing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

So grab your snacks and settle in for Part 1 of this two-part series this Wednesday, February 20th at 3:00 pm. on MNN2 in Manhattan. You can also live-stream at mnn.org. Part 2 will be broadcast on Wednesday April 17 at 3 pm. For the broadcast schedule in other boroughs and cities, go to NoshWithNina.TV.

Matthew Kennedy with the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the early 1960s


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