The New Republic: Columbia Musicians Honor the Legendary Nick Hathaway

The current blog of The New Republic features a story on the legendary songwriter and composer Nick Hathaway, described by his discoverer and Columbia Journalism Professor David Hajdu as "the genre- and taste-defying songsmith known for having the kind of talent that is truly not to be believed."

The blog post is in honor of the first anniversary of Hathaway's death at the piano in Chester, Pennsylvania, on April 1, 2011. It features a riveting video performance of Hathaway's best-loved unheard piece of work: the words and music he wrote for "Man in a Mousetrap," the conceptual production directed in 1953 by the avant-gardist Jeffrey Cordova. Here, in the piece's debut, Theo Bleckmann, the esteemed experimental vocalist, performs "Man in a Mousetrap" at Columbia University, with Jon Weber (pianist and host of the NPR radio series "Piano Jazz Rising Stars"), Chris Washburne (respected trombonist and director of the Jazz Performance Program at Columbia), and the violinist and scholar (and Columbia musicology PhD candidate) Matthew Morrison.  The performance also features a consideration of Hathaway's historical importance by Columbia's Edwin Case Professor of Music, George Lewis, who concludes that "in the history of the American avant-garde, Nick Hathaway stands out as a figure of rare conventionality."