Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Michigan Journal: 'Cox Quartet jazzes up final music lecture'

[Duke Ellington: Four Symphonic Works; American Composers Orchestra; Maurice Peress, conductor; Nimbus Records NI2511 (2008)]

The Michigan Journal
The Student Newspaper Of The University Of Michigan-Dearborn
Veronica Grandison
Issue date: 11/25/08 Section: News
“Although, the fourth installment of pianist Kenn Cox's music lecture series was called 'Jazz: African American Classical Music', Cox made it very clear that jazz was not a word that he used to describe the musical genre. 'No jazz musician tagged this music jazz,' Cox said in a fiery tone. 'They called it “hot blues,” not jazz.'" “Cox, who is the Visiting King-Chavez-Parks Professor for 2008 will be teaching a course in African-American music history on Wednesdays from 6:10 to 9 p.m. beginning in January.” [Full Post]

Comment by William J. Zick at
I believe that if we are to appreciate the full scope of African American music, we must consider the classical works of African American jazz geniuses such as Scott Joplin (1868-1917), Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and James P. Johnson (1894-1955). Joplin wrote three operas, including "Treemonisha", which is enjoying a revival. All three composers are profiled at along with other composers of classical music. In addition, the "Afro-American Symphony" of William Grant Still (1895-1978) is infused with elements of jazz and the blues. William Levi Dawson (1899-1990) is best known for his arrangements of African American spirituals, but he also composed his hauntingly moving "Negro Folk Symphony", which makes use of three spirituals.

No comments: