Greg Thomas discusses Murray's connection with Ralph Ellison and his ideas about identity formation in American culture.
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.
Matt Sakakeeny is an ethnomusicologist and journalist, New Orleans resident and musician. This talk is on a thriving brass band tradition, in New Orleans today young black Americans continue to perform, listen, and dance to jazz. Brass band musicians are celebrated as cultural icons for upholding the proud traditions of the jazz funeral and the second line parade, yet they remain subject to the perils of poverty, racial marginalization, and urban violence that characterize life for many black Americans.
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.
New York native Bobby Porcelli is one of Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz's most accomplished flutists and alto saxophonists. Bobby Porcelli has earned his stellar reputation through years of performing with the biggest names in Latin music. He joined the Tito Rodriguez Orchestra in 1963 and later the Machito Orchestra in 1965. Porcelli began playing with Tito Puente during 1966 and continued on with Puente for over 30 years. He is the only lead alto sax player to have played steadily with the "Big Three" from the Palladium Era (Puente, Machito, and Rodriquez).
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.
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.