ThinkOlio Presents: Radical Jazz: A South African Model for Resistance & Revolution Through Music
Friday February 10: 7:00PM – 9:00PM
This event is a lecture, art exhibit, and concert all in one!
South African jazz has always had its own trajectory within the jazz tradition. From the mining hostels in the 1800’s to the dance halls of Apartheid-era Soweto; the mixing of Arabic, Malay, Khoi and San ancestry in the carnival troupes of the Cape; the musical styles of Goema, Marabi, Mbaqanga and Samba; the influence of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk’s jazz scene in New York; and the free jazz movements of the 60’s and 70’s; all helped shape the rich tradition of South African jazz. Musicians like Zim Ngqawana, the Blue Notes and the more recent Amanda Freedom Ensemble have strong links to what is happening socially while maintaining a firm grip on the jazz tradition. The coexistence of social issues with the musical tradition, is the essence of jazz to many people. The past few years has seen student uprisings across South Africa. At the heart of the uprisings is the fact that for most people South Africa did not change much from it’s Apartheid days. The uprisings are driving a decolonizing and inter-sectional movement aimed at dismantling structural racism, patriarchy and the exploitation of workers by neoliberal capitalism.
This class focuses on the role that jazz musicians have played in shaping radical liberation politics and the liberation politics that have in turn shaped jazz in South Africa. Sure jazz isn't listened to by every revolutionary but the spirit that drives the music is revolutionary and many musicians and artists have used their voices to create a social scene for resistance to flourish.
*Performance and Art exhibit to follow the class* Musician and activist William Parker will join forces with South African musicians Kesivan Naidoo, Abraham Mennen and Brooklyn born Dan Kurfirst in a performance following the lecture.
Leading the class is Sean Jacobs, an associate professor of International Affairs at The New School where he teaches courses that explore the connections between popular culture and politics.
Buy a ticket HERE or at the door to attend. This event will take place in the Rare Book Room on the Strand's 3rd floor, accessible via the store elevator or at 826 Broadway.