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October 2023
Vol. 23, No. 1


UCSD Library Celebrates Black History Month with Jeannie Cheatham

by Scott PaulsonFebruary 2015
The beautiful and talented Jeannie Cheatham

The beautiful and talented Jeannie Cheatham

International jazz legend Jeannie Cheatham presents a treatise on Kansas City Blues, featuring live music, engaging storytelling, and recently rediscovered video. Jeannie will perform on piano with a jazz trio, underscoring the readings of special guests.

Jeannie’s autobiography Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On, reveals a life and career with all the great musicians of the past sixty years, from the Big Bands of Cab Calloway (“Minnie the Moocher”), Grover Mitchell (Count Basie band leader), Bill Tole (“New York, New York”), Big Mama Thornton (“Hound Dog”) to George Lewis (MacArthur “Genius” award winner). Jeannie Cheatham played piano for them all. She was trained in both the classical tradition and in the famous Kansas City jazz tradition by some of its greatest musicians: Pete Johnson, Jay McShann, and Count Basie. Jeannie and her husband Jimmy Cheatham revived the Kansas City style and, with their Sweet Baby Blues Band, toured the world.

This free Black History Month event is sponsored by the UC San Diego Library, the African & African-American Studies Resource Center and the UC San Diego Department of Music.

Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On is available through online retailers.

During the month of February, an exhibit about the Kansas City style will be on view at Geisel West, 1st floor. Jimmy Cheatham’s trombone will be on display, accompanied by an essay relaying the significance of the instrument, written by Jeannie Cheatham.

Join Jeannie and surprise guests on Thursday, February 12, 2015 in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library at 3:30 p.m. For further information, contact Scott Paulson, or 858-822-5758.

Jeannie and Jimmie Cheatham were the focus of a 2007 cover story in the San Diego Troubadour right before Jimmie died. Read all about this illustrious couple here:

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