1. Otis (Lightnin’ Slim) Hicks, was a blues musician specialising in Louisiana swamp blues.
Lightnin’ Slim was born Otis V. Hicks in St. Louis, Missouri moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of thirteen. Taught guitar by his older brother Layfield, Slim was playing in bars in Baton Rouge by the late 1940s.
He debuted on J. D. “Jay” Miller’s Feature Records label in 1954 with “Bad Luck Blues” (“If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all”). Slim then recorded for Excello Records for twelve years, starting in the mid 1950s, often collaborating with his brother-in-law, Slim Harpo and with harmonica player Lazy Lester.
2. John Rhoden (March 13, 1918 – January 4, 2001) was a sculptor from Birmingham, Alabama. Rhoden worked in wood and bronze, and created a number of commissioned works including “Untitled (Family)” at the Metropolitan Hospital in Harlem; “Mitochondria” at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan; “Curved Wall” at the African American Museum in Philadelphia; “Zodiacal Structure” at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia and a sculpture of Frederick Douglass at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania).
Rhoden served in World War II, studied at the School of Painting and Sculpture at Columbia University, and was named a Fulbright Fellow in 1951. His works have been displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. At Columbia University he studied under William Zorach, Oronzio Maldarelli and Hugo Robus.
3. Roy Owen Haynes, is a jazz drummer and bandleader. Haynes is among the most recorded drummers in jazz and in a career lasting more than 60-years has played in a wide range of styles ranging from swing and bebop to jazz fusion and avant-garde jazz. He has a highly expressive, personal style (“Snap Crackle” was a nickname given him in the 1950s) and is known to foster a deep engagement in his bandmates
4. Fred “Rerun” Berry, was an actor best known for the role of Fred “Rerun” Stubbs on the popular 1970s television show What’s Happening!!.
5. Terence Oliver Blanchard, jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and film score composer. Since he emerged on the scene in 1980 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and then shortly thereafter with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Blanchard has been a leading artist in jazz. He was an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence having recorded several award-winning albums and having performed with the jazz elite.
He is known as a straight-ahead artist in the hard bop tradition but has recently utilized an African-fusion style of playing that makes him unique from other trumpeters on the performance circuit. However, it is as a film composer that Blanchard reaches his widest audience. His trumpet can be heard on nearly fifty film scores; more than forty bear his unmistakable compositional style. Since 2000, Blanchard has served as Artistic Director at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He lives in the Garden District of New Orleans with his wife and four children.