Musician Honored For Contribution To African American Arts

Musician Honored For Contribution To African American Arts

♪[ MUSIC ] ♪ IT'S KNOWN AS THE CALIMBA, PLAYING THE ELECTRIC VERSION OF THE AFRICAN FINGER PIANO IS ONE OF THE MANY ACHIEVEMENTS OF A ROGERS PARK MAN WHO HAS MADE A MARK ON JAZZ.

PHIL JUST TURNED 90 AND HE REFLECTED ON HIS CAREER TODAY.

REPORTER: LISTEN TO JUST ONE OF HIS MANY ACHIEVEMENTS.

I GOT ONE NOTION IN MY HEAD.

REPORTER: IN THE 60S, HE SET THE WRITINGS OF PAUL LAWRENCE DUNBAR TO MUSIC.

THEY LOVE TODAY BECAUSE IT WAS THEM.

REPORTER: HE FIRST MADE HIS MARK AS AN INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED JAZZ TRUMPETER.

BUT HE REALIZED HE COULD DO MORE.

CONCEPTS THAT ARE BENEFICIAL TO EVERYBODY.

REPORTER: IN 1968, HE CHOSE TO OPEN HIS AFRO ARTS CENTER THERE WHERE MUSIC WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.

HE HAD FREE CLASSES.

WE WOULD TAKE THESE CLASSES NOT ONLY ON MUSIC, NUTRITION, ASTROLOGY — THIS IS A DEEP DUDE.

REPORTER: [ INDISCERNIBLE ] IS KNOWN THE WORLD OVER FOR HIS JAZZ STYLINGS ON THE CARIMBA.

IT WAS PHIL WHO ELECTRIFIED THE INSTRUMENT.

HE IS ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IN BLACK MUSIC.

REPORTER: AT 90, HE CONTINUED SPREADING HIS MESSAGE, THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE HARMONY WHEN WE UNDERSTAND CULTURE AND THE ARTS.

PEOPLE NEED AN EXPRESSION THAT'S ON THEIR FREQUENCY.

AMONG THOSE WHO SAID HE'S INFLUENCED THEIR MUSIC ARE SHAKA KHAN AND MAURICE WHITE FROM EARTH WIND AND FIRE.

DID YOU TAKE A TURN ON THE CALIMBA OR LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS?.

Source: Youtube