KC: Apart from this Juneteenth event, how else can people best support and celebrate African American freedom and achievement on this coming Juneteenth and throughout the year?
AT: Don’t be afraid to experience another culture and another perspective! Juneteenth is a holiday for everyone. If you really think about the Fourth of July, everyone in America celebrates the Fourth of July, but it’s the celebration of freedom from British rule and there are people who live here that aren’t British. So we can all celebrate Juneteenth as well. It’s just about celebrating freedom and the liberation of people. And I think freedom is something that our country really stands for. So anybody who’s here in America can celebrate Juneteenth and just show up, try to learn, and keep an open mind.
KC: I didn’t see any tour dates on your website, but I’d love to see you perform live. Do you have anything in the works?
AT: I will be performing at the Serious Fun Arts Festival in White Plains in October. I will also be at the jazz club that’s opening in Mount Kisco in November. Butttt… people can listen to me every weekend on my SiriusXM radio show, Real Jazz, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.! I play jazz and talk about history.
KC: What’s different about your radio show?
AT: I think it’s similar to my Growing Up Jazz program, which teaches a different, important perspective that’s been missing from the broader American narrative. On my show, I try to use music as a way to share information and start conversations that might be difficult to have otherwise. So, for example, last weekend I played a song about 40 acres and a mule. Then, I talked about the history of 40 acres and a mule in our country. After sharing that information with people, I had several people write me on social media saying like, wow, I never knew that, and I’m learning so much from listening to your show!
KC: As a jazz singer, do you listen to other types of music? Is there a genre or singer that people would be surprised you like?
AT: EDM!I love EDM. I’m a super huge Armin van Buuren fan.
KC: Wow! EDM? That surprised me, too! Why do you love it so much?
AT: It’s incredibly emotional. I think with jazz, its expressiveness and live nature – especially when you see it live. It’s such emotional music, and it takes you on an emotional roller coaster. And EDM does the same thing. It’s incredibly emotional music, and I think I connect with it on that level. And it’s just fun!