Join me for this free, 90-minute class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about our country’s complexities, possibilities, and limitations from some of our greatest creative artists.

I’m Alan Light, music journalist and author, and I invite you to join me for my upcoming class, Five Things I’ve Learned About America – from Five American Musicians.

As we’ll explore during this free, 90-minute session, my career has given me the opportunity to work with and think about many of the giants of American music, and to learn from them about music as a way to think about American culture, offering both great potential and constant reality checks about our history and our future.

For more than thirty years, I’ve been working as a writer, editor, and broadcaster concentrating on popular music of various genres. I have been a Senior Writer at Rolling Stone, the editor-in-chief of Vibe and Spin magazines, and a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. I’ve written numerous books, worked on several documentary films (winning an Emmy Award along the way), and spent many years hosting a music-talk show on SiriusXM. In college, I was an American Studies major, and themes and thoughts about the relationships between our country and its music are never far from my mind.

I’m very happy to say that I’ll be joined in conversation during this session by my friend, Resolute Square’s Megan Matson. Together, we’ll look closely at five artists I have written about and spent time with over the years, and at the lessons they offer about power, commerce, and creativity.

Please join me and Megan as we discuss how:

  • Nina Simone showed us that any part of American music is always more complicated than it seems;
  • Johnny Cash demonstrated the creative power of an open mind, a generous heart, and genuine empathy;
  • Prince revealed the potential and the conflicts between genius, commerce, and technology;
  • Public Enemy illustrated the possibilities and the limitations of activism in American music; and
  • Taylor Swift proves that consensus is still in our grasp, through authenticity and strategy.

I hope that you can be part of this Five Things I’ve Learned about America class. I hope, too, that you’ll explore others in this complimentary series.

In the face of the challenges America faces today, I believe that the ideals these musicians represent—their ambitions and achievements—offer both the opportunity to better understand each other and some models for continuing to move forward, as listeners and as citizens.

Please join me!

– Alan Light