America's Music



America's Music logoSiouxland Libraries will host "America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway." Audiences will learn about uniquely American musical genres including blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo, and hip hop. Our library is one of fifty sites nationwide selected to host this program series.



Join us for film screenings, programs and musical events highlighting this iconic American music.

Films and Discussions

Each Session will consist of 60 minutes of film, discussions led by Scott Johnson, Ph. D, Augustana Music Department Chair, and a 30-minute pre-film performance in the featured musical genre. All films and discussions will be held at Main Library, 200 N Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls SD.

  • Thursday film dates will occur during regular library hours.
  • Please note: On Sunday film dates, library meeting rooms will be open for the session, but the rest of the library will remain closed.


Session 1: Rock

The History of Rock 'n' RollThursday, May 30

6:00 p.m. Burlap Wolf King
6:30 p.m. Film: "The History of Rock 'n' Roll, Episode 6: Plugging In." Follow the evolution of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 1960’s from folk to electric.




 Session 2: Broadway and Tin Pan Alley 

Broadway, the American Musical

Sunday, June 2. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. Beverly Gibson Trio
2:00 p.m. Film: "Broadway: The American Musical, Episode 2: Syncopated City, (1919-1933)." Vaudeville transforms from tinny pianos and face paint to Gershwin, Berlin and Hammerstein on Broadway.





Session 3: Swing Jazz
JAZZ Ken Burns Sunday, June 9, Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. Jim Speirs and Andrew Reinartz
2:00 p.m. Films

"Ken Burns Jazz, Episode 6: Swing: The Velocity of Celebration." Jazz challenged social, economic and class divisions, paving the way for the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s.

"The International Sweethearts of Rhythm.” During the 1940", this multi-racial all girl band created an international jazz sensation while the men were away at war.


Session 4: Latin Rhythms from Mambo to Hip Hop     


Latin Music USASunday, June 16. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

2:00 p.m. Films 

"Latin Music USA, Episode 1: Bridges." Current popular music reflects the lasting influence of the Latin rhythms that permeated mid century dance clubs. 

"From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale." Modern Hip Hop emulates its creator’s defiance of the ghetto status and economic deprivation of the South Bronx in the 1970’s.



Session 5: The Blues and Gospel Music
Blues and Gospel Music Sunday, June 23. Doors open at 1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. Bobby Gripp and friends
2:00 p.m. Films

"Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Episode 1: Feel Like Going Home" Explore the birth of the blues told through modern blues artist and interviews with blues pioneers.

Say Amen Somebody

"Say Amen, Somebody" This cinema verite classic features three influential figures who pioneered the Golden Age of Gospel Music: Willie Mae Ford, Thomas A Dorsey, and Sallie Martin.



Session 6: Country and Bluegrass

High Lonesome

Thursday, June 27

6:00 p.m. Krystal Pederson
6:30 p.m. Film: “High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music.” The history of bluegrass told through the stories of Bill Monroe complete with haunting archival footage and toe-tapping performances.




Live Performances

Join us for free live performances, generously sponsored by a grant received from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.


Jami Lynn
Jami Lynn

Saturday, May 18, 2-3:30 p.m. at the Downtown Riverfront Amphitheater

Jami Lynn performs folk, bluegrass, and jazz at the beautiful Downtown Riverfront Amphitheater.

Jim Groth
Jim Groth

Friday, June 14, 7 p.m. at Annie's Coffeehouse and Wine Café, Garretson, SD

Local acoustic singer/songwriter will perform an engaging mix of original songs and fresh interpretations of classics. 

America's Music Live: Tom Peterson & Charley Smith, and Union Grove Pickers
Tom and Charley

Wednesday, June 26, 7 p.m. at the Historic Orpheum Theater

Local music favorites perform a concert full of folk and bluegrass hits.

Call 367-8720 for tickets or reserve your FREE tickets here

Union Grove Pickers


Scheduled Events

Toddler Dance Party and Music Storytime

Bring your children to a musical storytime for a toddler dance party and cool down during music themed stories.


Inside Instruments

Josh Rieck

Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m. at the Main Library

Learn how luthier and musician Josh Rieck constructs custom stringed instruments, and get tips on proper instrument care.




Library Book Walk, Featuring Do Re Let's Play 

Do Re Let's Play

Thursday, May 30, 9 a.m. at the Downtown Riverfront Amphitheater

Children’s music group, Do Re Let’s Play, will perform at 9:30 and 10:05 am. Follow the pages of a children’s book along the bike path and read your way to Falls Park and back.



Anthony Pederson

Saturday, June 1, 2 p.m. at the Brandon Community Library

Brandon Valley High School senior, Anthony Pederson, will perform a variety of classical pieces for Cello.

Teen Hip Hop Dance Lessons

Monday, June 10, 2:30 – 3:15 p.m. at the Main Library

Learn some basic Hip Hop moves from Dance Gallery instructor, Sami Rost.



Blue Yodels, Prairie Radio, and Arizona Swing: The Country Music Life of William T. “Billy” Burkes

Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m. at the Main Library

Anthony Lis discusses Billy Burkes and his connection to South Dakota. Fans of country music and local history will enjoy this lively discussion.



Siouxland Libraries is one of 50 sites nationwide selected to host this program series. "America's Music" is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library AssociationTribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music. It has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as generous local sponsors, Sioux Falls Area Community FoundationSouth Dakota Humanities Council and Mary Chilton DAR Foundation.


Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation logo South Dakota Humanities Council logoMary Chilton DAR Foundation logo South Dakota Arts Council Logo

Group of sponsor logos

South Dakota Arts Council Support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 Movie stills used with permission from Tribeca Film Institute