Jazz Studies Online: You're from New York. What kept you here when you decided to pursue a career as a jazz musician? What features did the city offer then that others did not? Given that you stayed in New York (or nearby) have your motivations for being here changed?
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.
Arnold Davidson continues his discussion of the ethical implications of improvisation, illustrating his points with audio and video excerpts. The first of these is a duo performance by George E. Lewis and Evan Parker; the second is the Duke Ellington Trio.
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Eric Lewis, Lydia Goehr, Bernard Gendron, Lorenzo Simpson, and Carol Rovane share their views on improvisation and ethics, and keynote speaker Arnold Davidson responds.
Eric Lewis, Lydia Goehr, Bernard Gendron, Lorenzo Simpson, and Carol Rovane share their views on improvisation and ethics.
Singer/composer Sathima Bea Benjamin grew up in Cape Town watching movies and listening to jazz records from America. Rejecting a life under apartheid, her career took her to New York, where she now lives. In conversation with Gwen Ansell, Ms. Benjamin discusses, with sung and recorded illustrations, the emotions and debates American music stirred among Cape Town's jazz players and singers, and how America responded to the African contribution to jazz and world culture. Ms. Benjamin is accompanied by Onaje Allan Gumbs, piano.
Gwen Ansell discusses the strategies that South African musicians and radio stations used to overcome the apartheid regime's efforts at cultural cleansing by introducing black audiences to jazz, and thus making jazz "the quintessential music of struggle" in that country. Click here for Part II.
South Africa is unusual in that jazz is the center of a lively popular music culture in that country, and not just a niche market. A major part of the South African jazz audience are members of organizations known as stockvels, which are part savings clubs, part music appreciation societies, and part social networking and patronage hubs. Gatherings there typically involve not only listening to jazz records, but improvising dance performances to them.