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.
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.
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.
In this segment, Dr. Knauer responds to questions from the audience after his lecture on Europe's reception and embrace of jazz. He speaks at length about the crucial differences between the infrastructure of support for jazz in Europe and the United States, in terms of government subsidies versus untrammeled market forces, and the changing balance of these forces in Europe. Dr. Knauer also discusses the differences in European and American audiences, and in the very understanding of the word "jazz."
Dr. Wolfram Knauer, Director of Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, reflects on the fact that to play jazz, one must embody a double consciousness: paying respect to the blues and soul of African-American jazz, while finding your own blues and soul. Taking European trumpeters Harry Beckett, Tomasz Stanko and Enrico Rava as examples, Knauer explores the relationship between blues and soul, while responding to an anonymous e-mail query he once received: "Can a German understand what jazz is?" Dr.
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.