The 71st Annual E. Azalia Hackley Collection Concert

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Four members of the DSC’s advisory board are also on the board of the Friends of the E. Azalia Hackley (FAH) Collection at the Detroit Public Library. We strongly believe in the connection between the DSC’s mission and the Hackley’s. Therefore we encourage you to purchase a membership for the FAH and then to celebrate the collection with us during an uplifting and joyful concert to be held Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 in the Friends Auditorium in the Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library in Detroit’s Cultural Center of Midtown.

You may RSVP and donate here:

The Facebook event page is here:

The E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts was established in 1943 when original materials were presented to the Detroit Public Library by the Detroit Musicians Association to serve as the nucleus for a special black music collection. The first of its kind in the world, the Hackley Collection, named after a Detroit music educator and performer, quickly broadened its scope to include dance, drama and other forms of the performing arts. The complete collection can be accessed at the Burton Historical Collection desk at the Detroit Public Library. Selections from the collection can be browsed via the Library’s recent Digital Collection expansion here.

In 2004, the Friends of Hackley was founded to raise awareness and funds for the collection. In 2005, Carleton Gholz helped establish the Detroit Electronic Music Archive within the Hackley, a special finding area within the collection dedicated to document, collect, preserve, and disseminate information about Electronic Music, a music form birthed in the city of Detroit by Detroit musicians. In 2011, he became a board member and, in 2014, became the President of the Hackley Friends. In 2011, LaVell Williams joined him on the board and, last year, Veronica Grandison and Denise Dalphond joined the board. We are honored to be a part of this group in our efforts to broaden the Hackley’s reputation and increase its capacities.

You can read more about the collection here.

You can read more about what the Friends Foundation does here.

See below a list of this year’s performers. If you or someone you know would like to promote the event or do any press please contact us at or Romie Minor at the Detroit Public Library at (313) 481-1397 and

A special note: Mr. Thomas Kelly is the oldest performing musician in Detroit at 101 and is available for interviews. He can be contacted via phone at 313-893-8168 and mailed directly at 17153 Arlington St., Detroit, MI 48212

Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to seeing you in February!

Very Sincerely,

Denise Dalphond

Carleton S. Gholz

Veronica Grandison

LaVell Williams


Alvin Hill

Alvin Hill is a technology-based artist whose work combines sound, still image, video,projection, movement, light, physical computing, interactivity, and DJ arts. He has studied classical violin and piano from the age of four, then shifted his focus towards technology while completing his BA at Dartmouth College, where he studied electro-acoustic composition with Jon Appleton. He earned his Masters in Media Arts from the University of Michigan. Hill has composed scores and media for, and performed live with dance companies throughout the US, including Amy Cova Dance, Arachne Aerial Arts, Brown Dance Project, Chavasse Dance and Performance, Koichi Tamano & Harupin-Ha, and The Playground. He has performed at the Alvin Ailey Theater (NY), the Cranbrook Science Center(MI), the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts(D.C.), and also had an installation at the Smithsonian (D.C.) as part of their Nam June Paik exhibit. Hill has taught classes in multimedia performance at the University of Michigan and Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. Hill also performed at the grand opening of the Detroit Electronic Music Archive which is part of the Hackley Collection in 2005. He returns to the DPL to present a performance inspired by music and composers featured within the Hackley’s archives. His website is:

Masters of Harmony featuring Mr. Kelly Thomas

Masters of Harmony is a four-person acapella gospel group from Detroit featuring city’s oldest performing musician, Mr. Thomas Kelly. Born in Alabama in 1913, Kelly migrated to Detroit in 1922 and began performing gospel music in 1926. In addition to performing live and on radio, and recording in the studio for ten decades, Thomas is also a World War II Veteran and retired auto-worker. His group will perform selections from their regular set, which is deeply inspired by music and traditions that the Hackley helps preserve and commemorate.

Photo by David Clements

Pamela Wise featuring Wendell Harrison

Pianist Pamela Wise began playing the piano at age five in Ohio, but has been a Michigan musician now since 1979. Her influences and repertoire range from gospel and jazz to Afro Cuban. In addition to her work as a freelance musician, she also serves as Music Minister at her church, the Shrine of the Black Madonna Pan African Orthodox Christian Church of Detroit. Wise’s husband and talented Michigan Jazz Master reed instrumentalist, Wendell Harrison, will join her onstage for a program inspired the Hackley Collection. Their personal websites are: and

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