Center for the African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians

ADSMM Front page photo

The Center for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians (ADSMM) is the world’s preeminent site for the study and preservation of music of composers and performers of music of the African Diaspora. Housed on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills, it is an archiving, research and performance program of the College of Arts and Humanities of the University, implemented in partnership with the University Library. The Center offers a multidimensional program that includes the Georgia and Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Music, the Dominguez Hills Jubilee Choir, and the African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians Network and Forum.

The overall focus of the ADSMM Program is to collect, to preserve through archival acquisition and contemporary performance, and to research the life and work of African Diaspora musicians whose musical art has been created and/or performed in Southern California. Music included within this Program is collected and preserved in The Gerth Archives and Special Collections section of the University Library, and is available from that source for study. The collection began and continues to be primarily comprised of an assemblage of sheet music, choral scores, full and partial scores, manuscript music, music books, and compilations of music that falls primarily into the sacred music genre, including gospels, spirituals, and classical pieces. But it now also includes a significant amount of secular music, ranging from jazz to popular music to Broadway musicals and operas, and music featuring text from poetry and speeches of persons of the African Diaspora. It currently includes the sacred and secular music from several sources within the ADSMM, including the ADSMM Archive, the Don Lee White Collection, the Albert McNeil Collection, the Hansonia Caldwell Collection, and the CSUDH Music Department.