“Give Me Doctor Jazz”: The Genesis of an American Art Form (1895-1930)

A lecture recital that shows how jazz developed in the first decades of the twentieth century by the rhythmical freeing-up of ragtime. This evolution mirrored wider changes in American society as it cast off the repressive shackles of Victorianism and embraced the liberal values of modernism, and climaxed in the euphoric “Jazz Age” of the 1920s.

Topics include:

  • The African roots of jazz;
  • The transformation of ragtime to jazz;
  • The development of improvisation.

Includes the music of Scott Joplin, “Jelly Roll” Morton, “King” Oliver and “Fats” Waller, as well as that of lesser-known, but equally important figures. An educational and musical feast that offers original insights into, and a deepened understanding, of the nature of jazz, its relationship to society, and its early evolution.

Program on request.