John F. Szwed, Professor of Music and Jazz Studies at Columbia University, has been appointed Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia. An anthropologist and jazz scholar, Dr. Szwed's publications range from anthropological studies of Newfoundland and the West Indies to record liner notes and jazz journalism. Dr. Szwed has authored or edited 15 books, including Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra (1997), Jazz 101 (2000), So What: The Life of Miles Davis (2002), and Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World (2010). Doctor Jazz, a book included with the CD set, Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax, was awarded a Grammy in 2005.
Dr. Szwed is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Jazz Studies Online, perhaps the most widely-referenced portal on the Web for jazz research. Most recently, JSO has begun a two-year project to build and test a powerful database tool for research on the history of jazz with the participation of a network of noted jazz scholars. The project has received generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Szwed has also received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Dr. Szwed has appeared in a number of documentaries and television specials. From 1980 to 1982 he was the music commentator on Terry Gross' Fresh Air on NPR, and as a journalist, Dr. Szwed has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Village Voice, Wire, and many other publications in the US and Europe. He is currently General Editor of the Jazz Perspectives Book Series for The University of Michigan Press.
On Monday March 7, Prof. George Lewis, Director of the Center for Jazz Studies and Case Professor of American Music, presented the University Lecture on the subject of "Improvisation as a Way of Life" to an overflow crowd in the Low Library Rotunda.
Improvisation as a Way of Life: Reflections on Human Interaction
Many musical improvisers have understood their sounds and practices as addressing larger questions of identity and social organization, as well as creating politically inflected, critically imbued aesthetic spaces. Following a 1964 suggestion by Alfred Schutz that a study of the social relationships connected with the musical process may lead to some insights valid for many other forms of social intercourse, the realization that improvisation is not limited to the artistic domain, but is a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life, can lead humanists and scientists toward new models of intelligibility, agency, ethics, technology, and social transformation.
Below: Prof. George Lewis delivers University Lecture, March 7, 2011 (Direct Link to Video)
Above: Columbia students and program organizers talk about the growth of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program and the importance of jazz education at the University. (5:30)
Also see: LAJPP Travels to Amman, Jordan
(Columbia Spectator, April 13, 2009)
NOTICE: THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED
The Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Department of Music at Columbia University are pleased to announce the following position:
The Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Department of Music at Columbia University seek to hire an Assistant Professor with a specialization in African-American Music. The responsibilities of the position include undergraduate and graduate teaching; research and publication; and institutional service. We seek candidates with specializations in musicology, ethnomusicology, or music-centered studies in arts, humanities or social science fields; whose research centers on global Afrodiasporic/circum-Atlantic positions, practices and discourses; and whose teaching and research are informed by critical race/ethnicity theory and postcolonial discourses. Candidates must have earned the doctoral degree by July 1, 2011.
To learn more or to begin the application process, please visit the following link:
Review of applications will begin JANUARY 1, 2011.
(Note correction from earlier posting, which had listed an earlier date.)
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
In 1995 Professor Robert O’Meally first convened the Jazz Study Group, a group of scholars, journalists, musicians, writers and others, to share their perspectives on jazz. Unique in its approach, the Jazz Study Group was among the first high-level scholarly research groups to examine jazz not only as a musical form, but also as a cultural phenomenon that has influenced all aspects of American culture. The idea for a Center devoted to the study of jazz as a culture grew out of these meetings, and in 1999, with the support of the Ford Foundation, the Center for Jazz Studies was born. Since then, the Center for Jazz Studies has extended the scope of its activities, embracing a tripartite mission of research, teaching, and public event sponsorship, in the affirmation that understanding jazz can provide a link to the development of new knowledge.
Information for Prospective Undergraduate Students (Applicants to Columbia College, Columbia School of General Studies, Barnard College, SEAS with Music Minor, CU/Juilliard Joint Programs).
If you are (or your child is) considering applying to Columbia College, Barnard College, the Columbia School of General Studies, or the Fu School of Engineering as an undergraduate, and you have questions about opportunities for undergraduate musicians at Columbia, this page is intended to help you find the answers you need. There are few subjects about which the Department gets more inquiries.
Here are some of the most common questions and their answers:
Q. I want to find out more about opportunities for undergraduate musicians at Columbia. Where do I start?
A. Here are some key links to explore:
A broad description of all undergraduate music programs at Columbia:
An examination of the new jazz that emerged shortly after the middle of the 20th century. The seminar will include the work of musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Carla Bley, Albert Ayler, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago; the economics and politics of the period; parallel developments in other arts; the rise of new performance spaces, recording companies, and collectives; and the accomplishments of the music and the problems it raised for jazz performance and criticism.
and his SYOTOS Band played to a packed house at the Kennedy Center on August 8, 2010. This concert featured percussionist Candido Camero and saxophonist Gene Jefferson. You can watch the webcast at: