Welcome to Black Music Class - Jazz, Blues, & Popular Music in American Culture
A Vista College Music Course*

With Johnny Otis, Professor & M. C.
Larry Douglas, Assistant Instructor & Carlos Zialcita, Program Coordinator

Class is over, but we had fun & learned a lot. Thanks to everyone who made coming to class a special time, especially Carlos, Larry, Johnny, and all the special guests.

Be sure to check out photos of our last night. And don't forget the red beans & rice recipe given to us by Johnny Otis himself.

If you would like to take this class, it will be offered again in the Fall Semester. It will be taught every Monday evening from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz in Berkeley. Register at Vista College, 20 20 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704. Enrollment fee is $33 for California residents, and the best deal ever for a semester of live music. Call 510/841-8860, ext 212 for more information.

Wisdom from our Professor

  • When times are hard - & I don't mean financially... times are always hard for poor people... But when times get rough enough, even the progressives wakeup. So maybe we can have the brotherhood we're always talking about.

  • We love the music of Black people, but we don't love the people. We gotta change that.

  • Now American, brace yourself. You will be asked to be a racist this year. Don't do it. Don't be a hater.

  • Turn to your neighbor. Tell them that you love them. Go ahead. Do it. That's just to set the tone here.

  • Minstrel music was Whites' first opportunity to appropriate Black music on a large scale.

  • Bessie Smith made Columbia Records.


* This web page is a creation of one of the students taking Mr. Otis's course, and does not necessarily represent the views or policies of Vista College, its administration, or the professors or students in this course. I expect visitors to this page to conduct themselves in a manner acceptable to community standards, using good etiquette and respecting each other. I also welcome critical dialogue and dissent. You may participate in our discussion, or e-mail me directly at NicoMo@aol.com, but I do appreciate your participation within these guidelines. Thank you!