Jazz Now

June 2016

By bringing scholars and artists together in conversation and exploration, this seminar identifies a series of scholarly and multimedia projects about jazz and its achievements since the 1980s. Although the history of jazz and related improvised music through the 1970s has been well addressed by scholars, journalists, and musician autobiographies, there has been little consideration of how jazz has been lived since the late 20th century. The impact of new technology, social movements, and aesthetics on the arts of improvisation and composition needs reflection and synthesis. How has jazz since the late 20th century spoken to the social issues of its time and continued the tradition of musical and social exploration through improvisation and composition? By building upon the concerns of the new interdisciplinary jazz studies of the 1990s, which brought literary, historical, ethnographic, visual, and critical race theory to the table, a gathering of the leading artists and scholars can collaboratively create the key questions and approaches that can serve as the basis for living, collaborative histories of jazz since the 1980s. The goal is to move beyond standard understandings of the jazz archive and teleological history, through a collaboration of artists and scholars.