1970s and 1980s

Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus


Author Krin Gabbard sets aside the myth-making around bassist Charles Mingus to argue that he created a unique language of emotions—and not just in music. After exploring the most important events in Mingus’s life, Gabbard’s book takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. Classically trained and of mixed race, he was an outspoken innovator on his instrument as well as a bandleader, composer, producer, and record-label owner.

Amiri Baraka's "Blues People" at Fifty : Robert O'Meally

Robert O’Meally discusses his contact with Baraka as a student and his subsequent engagement with his writings. O’Meally focuses on Baraka’s liner notes to jazz LP albums, arguing that they too are an important and distinctive form of jazz writing. He discusses the notes to, and music within, 1960s albums by soul jazz tenor saxophonists like Willis “Gatortail” Jackson and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis.

Franya Berkman on Alice Coltrane

Dr. Franya Berkman

Alice Coltrane was a composer, performer, guru, and the widow of John Coltrane. Over the course of her musical life, she synthesized a wide range of musical genres including gospel, rhythm and blues, bebop, free jazz, Indian devotional song, and Western art music. Franya Berkman's book, Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane (Wesleyan University Press, 2010), illuminates her music and explores American religious practices in the second half of the twentieth century. The talk by Dr.

Jazz Festivals and Cosmopolitan Vernaculars: Part I

As jazz continues to migrate across national, ethnic, and cultural borders, jazz festivals function as physical and symbolic spaces where the dynamics between the vernacular and the cosmopolitan are put into play. In this talk, Dr. Anne C. Dvinge of the University of Copenhagen takes a closer look at jazz festivals, and specifically the Copenhagen Jazz Festival,  as manifestations of this double sense of the cosmopolitan and the vernacular, where jazz enters into dialogue with local music cultures.

The String Trio of New York Performs at Columbia University

String Trio of New York

The String Trio of New York includes James Emery, guitar; John Lindberg, bass; Rob Thomas, violin. Since its formation in 1977 on the Lower East Side of New York City, the String Trio of New York has performing disctinctive acoustic improvisations and compositions for this instrumentation. This performance took place on May 9, 2014 at Columbia University’s Prentis Hall. The piece is the first movement of a suite entitled “River Orion,” and is called Aquarian Waters. 


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