“‘African-ist’ is not a word!” insisted our editing staff when I recently submitted some text about prestigious jazz pianist Randy Weston. They softened when I explained that I was quoting Weston’s biographer, Willard Jenkins, who views Weston as a pioneer in a field of, essentially, African Studies. Weston is an “Africanist,” in the same way that another scholar is an “Egyptologist.” The word is snappier than saying “African Culture Expert,” and sidesteps the exclusivity of “Afro-centric.” I say we roll with it.

Learn more about Weston in this video, and try to catch his panel discussion or his show:



Feb 18
Jazz Conversation: Randy Weston with Marty Hughley
2:00 PM | LOCATION: The Art Bar | FREE


Motema Music Presents Randy Weston
7:30 PM | LOCATION: Winningstad Theatre | $25 / $40 | ARTIST PROFILES: Randy Weston


The Portland Jazz Festival begins this weekend. For more upcoming arts events, visit PoMo’s Arts & Entertainment Calendar, stream content with an RSS feed, or sign up for our weekly On The Town Newsletter!