Artwork by Najee Dorsey selected for 2024 Atlanta Jazz Festival

Two Generations by Najee Dorsey has been selected for the 2024 Atlanta Jazz Festival.

A piece by contemporary visual artist Najee Dorsey has been selected as the official artwork for the 2024 Atlanta Jazz Festival. Now in its 47th year, this annual celebration of music, culture, and the art of jazz is one of Atlanta’s most beloved musical traditions put on by the City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

One of the largest free jazz festivals in the entire country, this outdoor three-day-long festival was originally conceived by Mayor Maynard Jackson back in 1978. He is reputed to have said that “Jazz music is America’s only original art form, and…Atlanta, with its growing reputation as an international center of the arts and education, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to promote an art form whose roots are indigenous to the South.”

In the years since, the Atlanta Jazz Festival has continued grown in scope as well as prestige by putting forth excellent musical arts while ensuring that the event remains free and open to the public. This fact underscores the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affair’s commitment to ensure accessibility for all to high quality cultural experiences in the city of Atlanta.

And this year, when more than 200,000 fans of jazz music and culture descend again upon Piedmont Park on Memorial Day weekend, they will be treated to a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Two Generations conveys a legacy of artistry, a shared love of music, and the connections that can be forged between disparate age groups over shared interests and creative passions.

Artist Najee Dorsey, provided.

Since he was a young child growing up in Blytheville, Arkansas, Dorsey has utilized mixed-media methods to depict scenes reminiscent of growing up in the South. Dorsey’s first foray into making money from his art dates all the way back to when he was 5 years old and sold his first works to his mother in exchange for candy. Art has continued to be Dorsey’s favorite pastime ever since, and is now his career.

Dorsey has managed to merge his artistic talent and his deep understanding of the nuances of the Southern African American experience to establish a meaningful and flourishing art career. In 2010, Dorsey founded Black Art In America™ (BAIA) as a response to the lack of traditional gallery and museum outlets for African American artists. The network has since become the leading online portal focused on African American art, artists, collectors, leaders, and enthusiasts with a monthly reach of more than 750,000 people.

Many of Dorsey’s works incorporate little known and unsung historical figures as well as scenes from African American life that ring nostalgic to the lived experiences of Southern African Americans. Though he dropped out of art school as a young man, he has continued pursuing his artistic career and has made a name for himself both locally and afar. One critical point of inspiration was his friendship with Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, an artist and community activist, who mentored him and inspired him to refocus his work on issues of personal importance. Today, Dorsey lives in Atlanta with his wife Seteria and continues to inspire new generations of African American artists and art enthusiasts alike.

“We are proud to announce the signature artwork for the 47th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is Two Generations by Najee Dorsey,” said Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, in a statement. “The mixed media artwork depicts a father and son sharing a beautiful moment, and truly represents the spirit of the festival.”

Two Generations will be featured in this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival poster and on the official t-shirt, both of which will be available to purchase during the festival.

Learn more about the 2024 Atlanta Jazz Festival by clicking here and check out more of Dorsey’s work on Instagram.

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