United States

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.

Sara Villa on Jack Kerouac's Writings on Jazz


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.

George Avakian on Jack Kerouac

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.

David Amram on the Beat Generation and Jazz

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.

Rare Works by Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn helped create the world known as “Ellingtonia,” but his music was a world of its own. “Strayhorn in the Foreground” featured his suave, subtle, and surprisingly modern compositions for jazz orchestra. The concert was presented by Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies at Miller Theatre on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

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. 

Damon Phillips Talks about "Shaping Jazz"

Damon Phillips, Columbia University

From Princeton University Press:

"Why did a minority of songs become jazz standards? Why do some songs--and not others--get rerecorded by many musicians? Shaping Jazzanswers this question and more, exploring the underappreciated yet crucial roles played by initial production and markets--in particular, organizations and geography--in the development of early twentieth-century jazz.


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