Gain a solid understanding of the evolution of African American music (popularly known as jazz and blues) from the late 19th century to the present. You will listen to the various styles that have been captured on recordings and discover how they developed and what they tell us about our American culture. Banjos, guitars, saxophones and drums will all be represented as you consider how they have played roles in creating jazz and blues. Scott Cashman wrote a paper on Plantations, Sharecropping and the Blues in high school that started a lifelong study in African-American music. He earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at UMass Amherst, and he has come to understand how the genre has become a label created to package, sell and explain music that is much more culturally complex than the label reveals.
Class meets September 11th, 18th and 25th.