How the history of Houston shaped one man’s work as an ethnomusicologist

For one Houstonian, a vinyl record isn’t just a record — it’s a gateway to escapism, history and a connection to his city and country.

By Fabiana ChaparroJanuary 6, 2022 10:01 am, , , ,

From NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project:

As an ethnomusicologist, Jason “Flash Gordon Parks” Woods’ mission is to document the unknown corners of Houston’s music scene.

“We can all benefit from knowledge,” says Woods. “There’s no need to hide it.”

He believes in sharing the culture he has uncovered with younger generations. The most important thing he wants them to know: You can trace back almost all great American music to the Bayou City. It’s not only his work as a music historian that transmits this message. Woods is also a DJ, filmmaker, photographer and vinyl curator.

Woods grew up in South Houston in the 80s, and remembers watching his mother, a schoolteacher, take photographs at every family function and vacation. He says he got his love for history from her.

“My childhood was filled with a lot of opportunities to be creative and be free,” he recalls. “Growing up with a lot of older people that told stories was part of my journey of just growing and learning.”

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