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Larry Blumenfeld: Watson Visiting Professor in Residency

Larry Blumenfeld.jpg

Time: 9 a.m. March 25 - noon April 5

Location: Dates, times, and locations vary: see listings below

The Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities

Larry Blumenfeld (Brooklyn, NY)


Jazz in Troubled Times: The Relevance and Resonance of a Culture

Through a two-week residency at Syracuse University as Watson Visiting Professor for 2019, cultural journalist and music critic Larry Blumenfeld examines jazz as an aesthetic construct, a living culture, a language of many dialects, a personalized science and a framework for thought and action as related to social justice. Through lectures, presentations, workshops and public discussions, he looks beyond conventional histories and limitations of genre and style to tell stories of empowering legacies, ongoing struggles and essential cross-cultural connections. He proposes jazz as a resonant form and relevant framework for understanding personal and communal identities in turbulent times. He also investigates timeless traditions of improvisation, and the current relationship between arts and activism. In doing so, Blumenfeld draws on his 30 years of journalism and criticism; his immersion in the jazz cultures of New York, New Orleans and Havana; and his ongoing dialogues with celebrated musicians.

Scheduled events:

Monday, March 25, 4:30-6 p.m.
Welcome Reception for Larry Blumenfeld
Goldstein Alumni & Faculty Center

Tuesday, March 26, 5-6:30 p.m.
Chicago Fire: The Men and Women of the AACM and Their Enduring Power
Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library

Wednesday, March 27, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Writing About Improvisation: A Workshop
304 Tolley Humanities Building

Friday, March 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
La Conexión Cubana (The Cuban Connection), featuring Yosvany Terry Quartet in performance
La Casita Cultural Center, 109 Otisco Street

Monday, April 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Armstrong in Prison: The Fight for New Orleans Jazz Culture Since the Flood
Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3

Tuesday, April 2, 6:30-8 p.m.
How Does Jazz Survive (and Thrive)?
Lender Auditorium, 007 Whitman School of Management

Wednesday, April 3, 2-4 p.m.
The Answer is Culture: A Roundtable Discussion About Arts, Activism and Cultural Policy
Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library

Thursday, April 4, 12:30-2 p.m.
She Played it Like That: Jazz Listening Party, with Belfer Archives
Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
'Gangsterism' on Campus: A Conversation About Jazz, Race and Creative Intent, featuring Jason Moran, followed by a solo-piano performance
Hendricks Chapel

Click here to download the 2-sided "weeks-at-a-glance" flier of lectures, workshop, and performances.

BIOGRAPHY: Larry Blumenfeld is a culture reporter, music critic and lecturer, who writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal, and has contributed to many newspapers, magazines, scholarly essay collections and websites. His work focuses on jazz and Afro-Latin music, and on the intersections between culture, politics and activism. His research as a Katrina Media Fellow for the Open Society Institute inspired a book about cultural recovery in New Orleans, due next year from the University of California Press. He was a National Arts Journalism Fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He curates Spoleto Festival USA’s jazz series; the Deer Isle Jazz Festival in Stonington, Maine; and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s series, 'Jazz and Social Justice.'

Additional supporters:

  • Council on Diversity and Inclusion
  • S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • Goldring Arts Journalism Program
  • Hendricks Chapel
  • Museum Studies
  • English / Creative Writing
  • School of Education
  • Latino-Latin American Studies
  • SUArt Galleries
  • Art and Music Histories
  • Setnor School of Music
  • Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition
  • History
  • Samba Laranja
  • CNY Jazz Central
  • Belfer Archives
  • Special Collections Research Center
  • WAER

The 2019 Watson Professor residency is hosted by Eric Grode - director of the Goldring Arts Journalism Program, and Assistant Professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

The Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Humanities is a preeminent lectureship originally established by the Watson family to support on-campus residencies of prominent humanities scholars, writers, and artists.

Eric Grode, Newhouse, Goldring Arts Journalism Program