The Orange County Regional History Center has just announced the return of its Brechner Speaker Series, which will feature four programs that focus on varied aspects of music in Florida — a theme designed to complement the museum’s current special exhibition, Figurehead: Music & Mayhem in Orlando’s Underground.

The series kicked off on February 26 with musicologist and Africana Studies expert Don Harrell examining the role of music in the lives of Black Americans with a talk called “Joy and Pain: Black Music of the United States Global Praxis.” Harrell, of the University of Central Florida’s Africana Studies program, looked specifically at rap and hip-hop culture, its proliferation, and its function in worldwide social justice movements.

The series will continue on March 19, with “Good Day Sunshine: The Beatles in 1964 Florida,” as Central Florida author Bob Kealing shares discoveries about the Fab Four’s visit during a pivotal year in American history.

On April 2, author Bob Beatty will present “Play All Night: Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East,” and on May 7, author Matt Walker looks at “Gainesville Punk: A History of Bands & Music,” about how the university town’s thriving punk scene grew to national prominence over three decades.

The History Center’s Brechner Speaker Series honors the late Joseph L. Brechner, a longtime journalist, Central Florida community leader, and television pioneer who is also remembered as one of Orlando’s first clear public voices for civil rights.

The four programs in the 2023 series take place on scheduled Sundays at 2 p.m. at the History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando. Parking is available at the Library Garage, 112 E. Central Blvd. All programs are free, with registration encouraged at

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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