“What is Jazz and Why Does it Matter”

August 2, 2018


The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a lecture entitled “What is Jazz and Why Does it Matter” on Sunday, August 5, 2018, starting at 2:00 PM at the Drake House Museum.   

The lecture will given by Michael Conklin, Jazz Historian. 


Branford Marsalis once said, “What is jazz? It’s almost like asking, What is French? Jazz is a musical language. It’s a musical dialect that actually embodies the spirit of America.” Sometimes called “America’s Classical Music,” the tradition and history of the genre embodies the essence of freedom and democracy. From its origins within the songs of the enslaved, to the advent of the blues, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, and other styles, jazz exhibits how each individual (through his/her independence) must function within the framework of a group to better serve the entire community. In this session, through music and discussion, participants will explore jazz and why it matters. 


Michael Conklin is an active jazz historian and writer who specializes in jazz history and American music, music of the antebellum South, and issues of race and class. He is presently pursuing his Doctor of Arts and Letters degree at Drew University. He spends the majority of his time teaching and writing; his work can be seen in publications by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Johns Hopkins University. He currently is an Adjunct Instructor at The College of New Jersey in the Departments of Music and African-American Studies. 


 This program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.  Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served.  Program is free.  Donations are always appreciated HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PLAINFIELD

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