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September 24, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Mondays, Sept. 24 – Oct. 8 (3 weeks)

3:30 – 5:00 pm

This class offers an overview of the rise and fall of the Big Band over the course of the twentieth century. An outgrowth of the emergence of jazz as a popular phenomenon in the 1920s, the “big band” (a group of ten or more musicians playing jazz together in tight coordination) came to be the dominant medium for popular music in the 1930s and 1940s, before fading from prominence and becoming a niche of “art jazz” from the 1950s to the present. The three class meetings will cover the beginnings of the style in the 1920s and early 1930s (Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Paul Whiteman, and the young Duke Ellington and Count Basie); the “Swing Era” of the late 30s and 1940s (Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington); and the emergence of the big band as a venue for “art jazz” (Duke Ellington’s jazz suites, Stan Kenton, Miles Davis/Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin).

Dr. Christopher Williams holds a PhD in Music History and Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and has taught at the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, the Universität Salzburg, and in the joint program of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. He is considered an expert on the music of Fin-de-siècle Vienna.

You may register by contacting 419-824-3707 or email


September 24, 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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