Black Inspirations: Valerie June on Alice Coltrane
For the month of February, in celebration of Black History Month on XPN, we’re presenting a new series called Black Inspirations. We’ve asked contemporary Black artists to share some of their influences from the Black music vanguard. The series continues today with a testimonial from Valerie June.
Memphis singer-songwriter Valerie June is someone who’s expanded their sonic repertoire from mellow bluegrass to explosive blues rock. When we asked her to weigh in on one of her all-time favorites, she chose an artist with an expansive range: pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane. Here’s what Valerie had to say.
Alice Coltrane’s devotional music is an effervescent soundtrack that has inspired the short meditations on my new record, The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers. I am a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and I’ve always been fascinated that she taught herself to play the harp. She’s one of the few black female artists who exist in the realm of mystical music, and I really think her music deserves a deeper listen for music lovers in our modern-day busy world.
Below, listen to Valerie June’s favorite Alice Coltrane songs, chosen for Black Inspirations on WXPN.