The Rev. Robert Jones will be performing at the Franklin Public Library Feb. 13.

The Rev. Robert Jones will be performing at the Franklin Public Library Feb. 13.

Photo provided by David Tamulevitch

Library blues performance focuses on history and impact

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 6, 2024

 Princi Graham poses with her work at the Franklin Public Library.

Princi Graham poses with her work at the Franklin Public Library.

Photo provided by the Franklin Public Library


FRANKLIN — The Franklin Public Library is hosting an all-new program for Black History Month at 7 p.m. Feb. 13.

Detroit Blues Musician the Rev. Robert Jones will be performing songs by, and inspired by, influential blues artists during the “All of This is the Blues” event.

“It’s not just a basic concert,” Florence Rouquet, the library’s assistant of adult programming, said. “I try to link a cultural side to it where the musician not only plays but also explains it.”

Jones plans to focus this performance on the idea that many components of modern music derive from blues music, “the idea is that blues music is really the trunk of the American music tree,” Jones said.

Jones emphasizes the importance of talking about celebration rather than tolerance. He wants people to see the ways in which blues artists throughout time have impacted history and the music we listen to today.

Audience members should expect to hear other genres in addition to blues. Jones plans to play bluegrass, gospel, country and other genres influenced by blues music.

“As the program flows, I think people are going to be, hopefully, surprised at how some of these things connect to the tradition that I’m talking about,” Jones said.

Jones’ performances always include vocals, but since he is a multi-instrumentalist, he has not yet decided which instruments he will bring for this show. He said he usually brings an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, a banjo and a fiddle. However, sometimes he mixes it up with other instruments.

“I hope people come out with an open heart and open ears,” Jones said.  “A lot of times you are surprised at what you find.”

More information on Jones and his music can be found at

Instead of being held at the Franklin Public Library, this concert will take place at Franklin Community Church, 26425 Wellington Road. The program is paid for by the Friends of Franklin Public Library and the funds they raised during their Oktoberfest fundraiser and pop up book sale.

In addition to Jones’ performance, the Franklin Public Library is hosting multiple other programs to celebrate Black History Month.

The Biography Book Group will gather to discuss the book, “The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson,” by Misty Copeland.

Local artists will also be featured at the library, including the work of African American abstract expressionist artists Priscilla Phifer and Princella “Princi” Graham. Both will be displayed at the library throughout Black History Month.