Italian scholar Sara Villa, whose work focuses on Beat Generation writers, discusses Jack Kerouac's jazz criticism--and finds that Kerouac was more musically literate, and critically adept, than is conventionally thought. Villa gave this lecture at a talk on Jack Kerouac and jazz organized by the Center for Jazz Studies on March 12, 2009.
© 2009 Sara Villa. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Columbia Professor of Music John Szwed discusses improvisational techniques and references to jazz in Kerouac's writings. He notes that Kerouac, who first experienced Harlem as a student at Columbia, thus believed that "Harlem is part of my alienation."
Legendary Columbia Records producer George Avakian discusses his relationship with Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. Avakian's brother, film director Aram Avakian, was a character in a Kerouac novel. In this video excerpt, George Avakian begins by discussing his brother's friendship with Kerouac stemming from their days as classmates at the Horace Mann School in Upper Manhattan during the late 1930s. He goes on to describe the relationship he developed soon after with Kerouac, who reviewed of some of Avakian's first recording production efforts.
Composer, french horn player, writer and raconteur David Amram talks about his association with Beat Generation artists Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Larry Rivers, and Gregory Corso. Amram moves then to a discussion of the multiple connections of jazz and improvisation with modern culture. In this clip, Amram is introduced by Sara Villa, who talks briefly about Amram's role as a character and score composer in the movie "Pull My Daisy."
© 2009 David Amram. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Part II of this talk by Dr. Anne C. Dvinge of the University of Copenhagen includes an exchange between Dr. Dvinge and CJS Director George E. Lewis on the further questions her work raises. For Part I, click here.
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.
George Lewis performs with the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR) at the 3-Legged Dog, New York, May 31, 2007.
After Professor Carol Rovane's introduction to the panelists and theme of the conversation, the keynote speaker, philosopher Arnold Davidson, presents his views on improvisation and ethics. Davidson's interest lies not only in how ethics bears on improvisation, but what improvisation can tell us about ethics. He makes reference to the ancient tradition of self-realization through rational inquiry, or "care of the self," to explore the relation between self and other in the process of collective improvisation.