Why were African American jazz singers not singing more songs about their own struggles as African American citizens?Why did Tin Pan Alley standards become the main staple for jazz vocal performance and recording? These are some of the questions I ask in order to create Performance Art works. If I had known the lyrics to 'Prove It On Me Blues' by Gertrude Ma Rainey, I would have known to look to the Blues for the African American story. In 1980 I saw a dance opera by Mudra Afrique, an interdisciplinary performance company from Senegal West Africa. There was a chorus of sixteen singers. They drummed while singing. Playing a stick hand drum, they moved easily from dance to poetry to song all while drumming and wearing costumes with scenery behind. I went to Senegal to observe their training process. Mudra Afrique saw no need for walls to separate theater from music, painting from poetry or dance from song. They saw all of these disciplines as one voice. Music as dance, as mask, as ritual, as song, as history and culture, as sacred and secular, as political, as a way of life. In this production of Secret Meeting, I keep moving toward what I saw and heard in 1980.Here, the musicians, the children and I are performing the African American experience with roots in African rhythms. The children's ears are being developed through a transcultural tonal process which is Jazz studies fro children. The drums and the string bass provide the foundation for the voice. Chord extensions in the piano expand the hearing of the singer. The trumpet plays the role of the talking drum and telegraph instrument. The guitar and percussion instruments add color, texture and character to each song. We paint as we make music. Is there a category called 'Democratic Music?' No. 'Holistic Music?' Cultural Diversity Music? Shamanic Roots Movement Honoring the Ancestors Music? Then, the closest category would be Jazz or World Music. The struggle continues Kweli.