University of Pittsburgh

John Bagnato Wins Luther Brown Prize

Jazz Studies doctoral candidate John Bagnato’s presentation at the International Conference of the BluesThe Half Ain’t Never Been Told: Blindness & Blues in the Race Record Evangelists, 1926-1929” was selected as the winner of the third Luther Brown Prize. Bagnato’s paper details how Perceptions of blindness shifted during this brief period of Black history and as musicians transitioned from street performers to Race record celebrities

The Luther Brown Prize is named for Dr. Luther Brown, founding director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University. Between the years 2000-2014, Dr. Brown led The Delta Center, distinguishing it as a “Center of Excellence” at the university. The DCC&L now manages the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and other programs and initiatives that educate the public about the region’s distinctive cultural heritage.  

In keeping with Dr. Brown’s vision of promoting and supporting Delta-centric scholarship, The Luther Brown Prize is awarded to an emerging scholar presentation at the International Conference on the Blues whose paper advances greater understanding and appreciation of the Delta’s cultural heritage. Congratulations to John Bagnato for winning this year’s Luther Brown Prize!

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