Mahalia Jackson subject of conference and concert at Tulane

February 27, 2015

Barri Bronston
Phone: 504-314-7444


Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel, whose upbringing in New Orleans played a major role in her transformation from church performer to musical icon, will be celebrated at “Mahalia’s New Orleans: A Concert and Conference in Honor of Mahalia Jackson” Saturday, March 7 at Dixon Hall on Tulane’s uptown campus.

The event is sponsored by Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University.

“Mahalia Jackson is recognized around the world as the leading voice in gospel music, but she was born and raised right here in New Orleans,” said program organizer Matt Sakakeeny, an associate professor of music at Tulane.

“We’ve brought together a group of scholars and performers who will discuss how her musical upbringing in New Orleans shaped her to become a game changer internationally.”

The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. with “Mahalia’s Life and Legacy in New Orleans” featuring talks by Sakakeeny along with the Rev. Dwight Webster, pastor at Christian Unity Baptist Church; Jerry Brock, an independent scholar; and Joyce Jackson, associate professor of anthropology at Louisiana State University.

The second session, “Listening for the Influence of Gospel in New Orleans Music,” will begin at 6 p.m. with a discussion among musicians Irma Thomas, Dr. Michael White and Cynthia Girtley.

The program will culminate at 7:30 p.m. with an all-gospel concert featuring Thomas and Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000