Venue: Arts One Lecture Theatre, QMUL
"Transatlantic Exchanges: African American and South African Jazz Musicians, 'Free Jazz, and Liberation Movements on Two Continents" by Professor James Miller
Against the backdrop of the mutual fascination between various strata of black communities in the United States and South Africa throughout much of the 20th century, this talk focuses upon the convergence of these interests in the figure of the jazz musician during the late 1950s. 1959 heralded the emergence of new forms of jazz in the U.S., characterized by a sense of freedom and innovation, fueled, in turn by the social, political, and cultural ferment caused by the quickening pace of the Civil Rights Movement. These developments, juxtaposed with the triumph during the same year of "King Kong," South Africa's first all-black musical, propose a different way of understanding and writing jazz history.