Keeping Rhythm & Blues Alive

Programs / Services

  • Preservation Hall Band
  • Instruments for Children
  • Oral History Project
  • Local Performer Support
  • 'News of Note' Newsletter
  • R&B Educational Programs
  • International Blues Challenge
  • Member Discounts / Events
  • Last Chord (Recognition)


Preservation Hall Band


A dedicated group of member musicians, the Preservation Hall Band is available for festivals, concerts, events, celebrations, tributes and more. 


Instruments for Children


Instruments for Children Program  was established 2006 to bring music into the lives of school children.  The program started as a way to keep the African American legacy and tradition of R&B alive for the next generation of aspiring musicians.  Musical instruments were made available to students who were not able to afford them.   

Oral History Project


Launched in 2006 in partnership with the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Oral History Project was developed to capture the recollections of the life and times during the roots of R&B music in RI from 1943 - 1970.  The small combo R&B music art form emanated from the African American blues heritage near the end of WWII and is probably the most significant African American cultural contribution to the local way of life.  




Studies show that playing a musical instrument helps children to succeed in their academics. For many children having a musical instrument to call their own is a financial hurdle that they cannot overcome.  The program started as a way to support musical training for students who may not otherwise be able to afford to participate and to keep the African American legacy and tradition of R&B alive for the next generation of aspiring  musicians.   


City of Providence, Elementary and Middle Schools       

Manville, Elementary & MIddle Schools      

Warwick High School 

West Warwick, MIddle School  Woonsocket Middle School



Tom Colantonio, Program Director has been instrumental in program promotion and expansion by use of press contacts and local venues.  Students use the  instruments in concerts and for individual study.   

Over the years RIRBPS has made musical instruments available to students in many Rhode Island School Districts. Guitars, basses, keyboards, trombones, trumpets,  flutes, saxophones, clarinets, drums, violins and woodwind instruments have been provided. 


Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA), Providence  

Music Mansion, Providence Riverside Family Center After School Program, Riverside 



Donated instruments are evaluated, refurbished and/or repaired by local music shops.  Instruments are acquired through private donors, musicians, local thrift sales and anonymous donations.   

Musical Instruments can be donated by contacting RIRBPS.  All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of applicable laws.   


Pawtucket Urban Music Project      

Rhode Island Philharmonic, Capital City Bands, Pawtucket  

The Autism Project, Johnston  

Community String Project, Bristol Community String Project, Newport 

Thanks for Your Support

Your membership or contribution will enable us 

to fund our mission and continue our programming.

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