From the blues to Broadway

01.07.2014 | Campus and Community, Fine Arts, Culture and Society

The University of Dayton will host "America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway," a six-part film and discussion series about uniquely American musical genres including blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo and hip hop.

Each two-hour session will explore an American musical style through film and discussion led by a University of Dayton faculty member. The University is one of 81 sites nationwide selected to host the series. The series is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

"We are thrilled to participate in this exciting program that will explore different types of music, show how modern music has been influenced by older styles and bridge gaps among generations," said Katy Kelly, communications and outreach librarian and project director.

The series will be complemented by an art exhibit by ArtStreet students and a closing celebration of art, food and musical performances.   

All film screenings and discussions are 6-8 p.m. at ArtStreet, Studio B:

"The Blues and Gospel Music," Tuesday, Jan. 21. Discussion led by Jim Hiller, a guitarist and singer, scholar of American popular song and music therapy lecturer. It will explore the birth of the blues from its African roots to its eventual prominence in places like Memphis, Chicago, New York and beyond. Films: "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" (2004) and "Feel Like Going Home and Say Amen, Somebody" (1983).

"Tin Pan Alley and Broadway," Thursday, Feb. 6. Discussion led by Hiller exploring the 100-year history of musical theater and the story of its relationship to 20th-century American life. Film: "Broadway: The American Musical" (2004).

"Swing Jazz," Tuesday, March 4. Discussion led by John McCombe, professor and director of undergraduate studies in English. Session spans nearly a century of jazz styles, while also highlighting America's first integrated all-women swing band. Films: "Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns" (2000) and "International Sweethearts of Rhythm: America’s Hottest All Girl Band" (1986).

"Country Music, from Bluegrass to the Nashville Sound," Thursday, March 13. Discussion led by Hiller; session traces the emergence of bluegrass from Appalachian descendants of Scotch-Irish settlers into a popular subgenre of country music. Film: "High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music" (1994).

"Rock," Thursday, April 3. Discussion led by McCombe; explores the birth of the blues out of the Mississippi Delta. Film: "History of Rock ‘N Roll" (1995).

"From Mambo to Hip Hop," Thursday, April 10. Discussion led by McCombe and Thomas Morgan, associate professor of American and African-American literature. Session explores how mambo — the Cuban hybrid of traditional danson fused with syncopated Afro-Caribbean rhythms — migrated to New York City from Havana in the 1940s and broke social and musical rules. Films: "Latin Music USA: Bridges"(2009) and "From Mambo to Hip Hop" (2006).

VOICES: America’s Music. March 25-April 25, ArtStreet Studio D Gallery. Reception, 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15. ArtStreet student exhibit of music, photography and visual art.

1World Celebration, 7-10 p.m., Friday, April 25, ArtStreet Amphitheatre. This second annual event brings together the diverse voices and creative minds of the University of Dayton together with those from the city of Dayton in an end-of-the-year art, food and music celebration.

"America’s Music" is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

For information or to register, visit America's Music or contact KatyKelly937-229-4274 and kkelly2@udayton.edu