Founded in 1919, the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) is the country's oldest organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of African American music. The Ben Holt Memorial Branch is the District of Columbia Chapter of NANM, Inc.


Our Mission

We seek to foster a larger public appreciation of African American music.  Accordingly, we encourage and assist in the cultivation of musical gifts among talented youth.


Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.
— Charlie "Bird" Parker

About the Ben Holt Memorial Branch

The Ben Holt Memorial Branch was founded in 2010 and incorporated in 2014 as a District of Columbia Metropolitan Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) in the memory of Washingtonian and Baritone Ben Holt.  In addition to supporting the mission of NANM, the Ben Holt Memorial Branch is organized to promote the love and appreciation of African American Music, the music of African descent, and the music of the classical European tradition.  The branch seeks to provide a national and international platform of exposure for musicians and music of African descent.  The Ben Holt Memorial Branch recently opened its youth division to support and cultivate the talent of young musicians in the Washington, DC area.


Purposes

  • To assist in maintaining a world in which all people may live in peace and harmony
  • To develop world-wide love and appreciation of all traditional and contemporary Negro music.
  • To encourage the use of Negro Folk Themes as a basis for compositions. 
  • To develop higher professional standards through lectures, conferences, and conventions. 
  • To promote the exchange of ideas and a spirit of fellowship among musicians. 
  • To discover, encourage, and assist the cultivation of musical gifts among talented, deserving youth through activities that will extend the influence of music as a necessary and inspiring element in the life of the people. 
  • To establish and maintain a scholarship fund.