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Article: Race and Jazz

Wynton Marsalis and Confederate Monuments: How a Jazz Musician Started a Political Movement

Read "Wynton Marsalis and Confederate Monuments: How a Jazz Musician Started a Political Movement" reviewed by Dustin Mallory


In the wake of the events that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 11-12, the nation has been gripped by horrific violence and tragedy. Our screens have been filled with images of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the counter-protestors who clashed with them. The Unite the Right rally may have ended in chaos, but it began ...

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Article: Race and Jazz

BAM or JAZZ: Part Two!

Read "BAM or JAZZ: Part Two!" reviewed by Greg Thomas


Jazz, an art form given birth in the United States by descendents of the formerly enslaved, has a complicated relationship with race. Although race, as a popular idea, has no basis in biology, many people mentally adhere to the idea of dividing groups of people based on “race" as opposed to understanding how groups of people ...

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Article: Race and Jazz

BAM or JAZZ: Why It Matters

Read "BAM or JAZZ: Why It Matters" reviewed by Greg Thomas


Since the last Race and Jazz column, the first of a multi-part discussion with John Gennari--the top scholar on the history of jazz criticism--a firestorm of controversy has arisen surrounding Nicholas Payton's declaration that, to him, the word jazz is dead. He also feels that the word jazz is tantamount to or worse than the “n" ...

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Article: Race and Jazz

Race and Jazz Criticism

Read "Race and Jazz Criticism" reviewed by Greg Thomas


When I began this Race and Jazz series several months ago, I knew the topics I wanted to touch upon, and the general culture vs. race point-of-view I intended to pursue. With those chord changes (topics) and that melodic perspective (pro-culture, anti-race) in mind and at play, I figured I'd proceed with the rest by ear. ...

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Article: Race and Jazz

Gary Giddins on Ignored Black Jazz Writers

Read "Gary Giddins on Ignored Black Jazz Writers" reviewed by Greg Thomas


In the first essay for the Race and Jazz column, I gave a first-person account of how my love and appreciation of certain “white" saxophonists served to safeguard me from the temptation of racism back in college during the early-to-mid-'80s. My second essay privileged culture over race, and told the story of how attorney and constitutional ...

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Article: Race and Jazz

Race, Culture and a White Boy from Texas

Read "Race, Culture and a White Boy from Texas" reviewed by Greg Thomas


The date: October 12, 1931. A sixteen year-old white male from Austin High School in Texas, who in later years would help shape the future of the United States, bought a ticket to see “Louis Armstrong, King of the Trumpet, and His Orchestra" at the old Driskill Hotel. He knew nothing about jazz or this “King," ...

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Article: Race and Jazz

Jazz vs Racism

Read "Jazz vs Racism" reviewed by Greg Thomas


Jazz saved me from becoming a racist. Back in the early to mid-1980s, while attending Hamilton College in central New York, I learned details about the transatlantic slave trade that sickened and angered me. I read about the history of the abolitionist movement in the 1800s, and the civil rights movements of last ...


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