Feb. 19, 2004

Contact: Sherrie Tucker, American studies, (785) 864-2305; or William J. Harris, English department, (785) 842-6772.

Music scholars to hit high notes in 'Jazz Changes' colloquium March 4, 5 at KU

LAWRENCE -- Two renowned jazz scholars will keynote "Jazz Changes," a colloquium March 4 and 5 at the University of Kansas to explore transitions in jazz history

At 9 a.m. Thursday, March 4, KU's Interdisciplinary Jazz Studies Group will bring together a select group of scholars from throughout the United States and Canada who will present their research on moments of transformation in jazz history. The program is offered in conjunction with the annual KU Jazz Festival March 6 and 7.

Travis Jackson, professor of music at the University of Chicago, will kick off the event at 9 a.m. March 4 in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. His talk is on "All the Things You Are: The Changing Face(s) of Jazz Studies."

Ingrid Monson, professor of African-American music at Harvard University and author of "Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction," will speak at 5 p.m., also in Alderson Auditorium. Her talk is titled "On Sound Stereotypes: Social Construction and Jazz."

Panels will run throughout the day in Alderson Auditorium: "Fusion Changes," "Changing Places" and "Improvising Changes." Beginning at 10:30 a.m. March 5, the colloquium will be across the street in the Spencer Art Museum auditorium for a panel on "Changing Forms."

Speakers and panels will explore a range of changes in jazz, including those that have occurred from the fusing of genres; changes in meanings attributed to jazz by players, producers and audiences; changes in where jazz is played and who plays it; and aesthetic changes jazz has exchanged with other cultural forms such as visual art and literature.

"Dixieland, boogie-woogie, swing, jump, bebop, modal, free, fusion, hip-bop ... what makes all of these very different kinds of music jazz?" asks William Joe Harris, KU associate professor of English and a member of the KU Interdisciplinary Jazz Studies Group.

"If there is a constant in this vast array of music called jazz, perhaps this is it: jazz changes," Harris said.

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