The Center for American Music proudly bears the name John Jacob Niles, in part because of the family's generous gift that allowed the vision of such a center to become a reality. But the name was also chosen because Niles's life and work as a composer, collector, performer, and scholar closely mirrors the mission of the center. As Niles's career included aspects of traditional, popular, and art music, so the center seeks to be an inclusive home to all American music, from bluegrass to jazz to opera. More than thirty years after his death, the cultural work of John Jacob Niles continues to resonate. Music he collected, composed, arranged, and adapted is still widely performed. His performances live on through recordings. His words and ideas still circulate in print. His life and career still exert unflagging energy that sparks the celebration of America's musical heritage.
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