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“Improvising America”

The second KU Interdisciplinary Jazz Colloquium

March 3, 2005, 8:45 am – 6:15 pm, Alderson Auditorium

With Keynote address by Jane Ira Bloom

8:45 - 9:00 Opening Remarks
William J. Harris
English, University of Kansas
9:00 - 10:25 Panel 1: Improvising the Politics of Sound and Critique

Matthew Sumera, “Max Roach's Politics of Sound”
Liberal Studies, University of Minnesota

Michael T. Spencer, "’In the Blood’: Emotion, Blackness, and the Quest for Authenticity in 'Cool' Jazz, 1953-1963”
American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Monica L. Hairston, “Hazel Scott: Narratives of an American Musician”
Ethnomusicology, New York University
10:40 - 12:05

Panel 2: Jazz on the Run: Improvising Identities After the “Golden Age”

Robert R. Maclean, “After the Revolution: Archie Shepp and Rahsaan Roland Kirk in the 1970s”
Department of History, University of Michigan

Paul A. Anderson, “Steely Dan and the Pleasures of Simulation”
American Culture Program, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan

Tamar Barzel, “‘Rootless Cosmopolitans,’ ‘Selfhaters’ Orchestra,’ ‘Jews and the Abstract Truth’: Theorizing Jewish Identity on New York City’s 1990’s Downtown Scene”
Department of Music, Wellesley College

12:15 - 1:20 Lunch
1:45 - 2:45 KEYNOTE: “Improvisation: Like The Weather”
Jane Ira Bloom, soprano saxophonist/composer
Introduced by Dan Gailey, Music & Dance, University of Kansas
Event held in Baustian Theatre, Murphy Hall
3:15 - 4:40

Panel 3: Improvising and Jazzing Race and Nation

Kevin Fellezs, “Silenced But Not Silent: Asian Americans and Jazz”
Music Department, Berkeley

Monique Laney, “Improvising Germany: On the construction of ‘German Jazz’ at the annual Jazzforum in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1995”
American Studies, University of Kansas

Yusuke Torii, “Occupation with Syncopation: Race, Music, and Censored Democracy in Japan in the Wake of World War II”
American Studies, George Washington University

4:55 - 5: 55

Panel 4: Redefining and Improvising Jazz History

Adam Bush, “The Role of Public School Teachers in Jazz History”
Independent Scholar

William Harvill, “Ragtime: the Jazz Before 1917”
Music & Dance, University of Kansas

6:00 - 6:15

Closing Remarks

Chuck Berg,
Theatre & Film, University of Kansas


For further information contact
William J. Harris (


The colloquium is held in conjunction with the 28th KU Jazz Festival and with “Writing, Teaching, Performing America,” an interdisciplinary conference. ”Improvising America” is sponsored by the KU Interdisciplinary Jazz Group, KU Center for Research and the University of Kansas Libraries.

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