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The participants summarise their talks

  • Origins of Jazz (Louis Armstrong)
    Christopher Small

    We will analyze a new way of making music that appeared in the slavery period in America maintaining the influence of its two sources: African music and European music that combined admirably to produce Jazz. We will appeal to the concept of "musicking", doing music, in reference to all kinds of active participation in a in a musical performance. In my opinion, this new way of making music -"musicking"- with roots going back o the beginning of the 17th century in the first days of slavery, allowed both blacks and poor whites, to have a new model similar to a community, that represented for them an affirmation of dignity that provided them with a reason to survive, and that ultimately gave origin to this new way of making music called jazz.

    The vitality of jazz, thus, comes in a great extent from its social origins; it is the reflection of the society from where it comes, from the tensions between the ideal of European communities and the Americans of African origin. The vitality of jazz is the legacy of countless musicians whose names in most cases have been forgotten by history, and although probably being illiterate, they were great connoisseurs of European and African musical styles, and the people responsible for equally establishing both styles of music at the origin of jazz.

    The first great figure making a name of his own in jazz, was without doubt Louis Armstrong, who nevertheless, shares this merit with the work of those first musicians previously mentioned, who are also the protagonists of the origin of jazz.

  • 'I could write that piano, Cortázar said' (Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans). The 40's and 50's
    José María Guelbenzu
    It is commonly said that literature and jazz have many points of contact. We should specify that this refers to the literature of the 20th century, as this is the century of jazz. But, is this assertion true? The music is composed by abstract sounds and literature by specific words, and thus, the meeting seems to be complicated, if not unsolvable. The conference proposes to think about this issue with the guiding hand of the writer, Julio Cortázar, and three musicians from the golden age of jazz: Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk and Bill Evans.
  • Miles Davis and his time: the paths of silence. Jazz between 1945 and 1990
    José María García Martínez
    Probably the musician that most exactly represents the true changing spirit of jazz is Miles Davis, trumpeter and composer, author of uncountable master pieces (Birth of the cool, Kind of blue, Bitches Brew,85), he never looked back into what had been already done and only thought about what was pending to be done. Miles showed the way to his contemporaries, for whom he was a reference and a source of inspiration. He created styles -from "cool jazz" to "jazz rock", and including "modal jazz, its diverse orchestral experiences, or his adventure in the border of atonality-, he invented a sound, endorsed careers -what musician in modern jazz has been able to escape from his influence?-, and none of it was as important for him in comparison to whatever he had in his hands at that time. Always changing, always loyal to himself: Miles Davis.
  • And with him came scandal: Wynton Marsalis
    Fernando Ortiz de Urbina
    A messiah for some, a fallen angel for others, and always controversial, Wynton Marsalis has marked the jazz of the last quarter of the 20th century. Since his irruption in the New York scene more than 25 years ago, Marsalis has been a sensation due to his declarations, his brilliant list of successes, his intensive and varied activity, and not any less, his work as composer. In this review of his career, we will make a special emphasis in Marsalis as the materialization of an aesthetic ideal (coming from the literary tradition of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray), in the secondary role that his music has had in history, and the attempt to codify jazz based on this ideal, as well as the consequences.
Fundación Juan March
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