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Let Freedom Swing: On Jazz & Democracy

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Dr. Martin Luther King on Jazz 

"Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from this music. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down. And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the …

Posted 85 months ago by

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Jazz for Young People Online 

Jazz for Young People Online is an online companion to the Jazz for Young People Curriculum produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Featured lively musical selections, narration by Wynton Marsalis, and accompanied quizzes are presented and selected in this online resource.

Posted 85 months ago by

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Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa 

This book is written by Ingrid Monson, a Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University. “An insightful examination of the impact of the Civil Rights Movement and African Independence on jazz in the 1950s and 60s, Freedom Sounds traces the complex relationships among music, politics, aesthetics, and activism through the lens of …

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Jazz and American Democracy: A Symposium 

In December 2003, the internationally acclaimed jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, former president and part-time saxophonist Bill Clinton, and distinguished scholars Farah Jasmine Griffin, Michael Kammen, and several other educators convened in Jazz at Lincoln Center to conduct a conversation about Jazz and American Democracy. The event aimed to “illuminate the many ways in which jazz …

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New Democracy and Alternative Culture: Jazz in West Germany After the Second World War 

In this journal paper, Kater (2006) analyzed American Forces’ attempts to popularize jazz as a means to facilitate democratization in West Germany after WWII, and contended that these efforts failed to achieve its goal, partly due to the rejection of Americanization in West Germany at the time.

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Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology 

Jazzocracy is a book by jazz bassist, political consultant, and author Kabir Sehgal. Sehgal sees similarities between U.S. democracy and jazz, and contends that jazz could serve as new mythologies to support democracy in the United States. Below is an excerpt of book review from Library Journal: "While touring with Wynton Marsalis and assisting John …

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Jazz Primer for Rock People 

Written by Craig Matthews in oculus magazine, this jazz primer aims to supply basic rudimentary facts and trends in the history of jazz, point readers in some directions, and give some suggestions of some avenues to explore. Various types of jazz music (Blues, Swing, Funk, Cool, and much more) across different historical periods (up to …

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iCivics 

"iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better …

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Jazz and Democracy Project 

"The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) uses jazz as a metaphor to cultivate a profound understanding of American democracy. J&D brings American democracy to life, enriches the study of U.S. History in elementary, middle, and high school, and inspires youth to become active, positive contributors to their community." (from the website)

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Jazz in the Schools 

"NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz in the Schools is a web-based curriculum and DVD toolkit that explores jazz as an indigenous American art form and as a means to understand American history" (from the website)

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America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World 

Jazz not only has a democratic impacts within United States, but also presents artistic power to build friendships in the international societies. This website documents how jazz ambassadors such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and more traveled abroad in an attempt to build friendships via the universal language of jazz music …

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White House Jazz Studio 

In this short video from White House Youtube Channel, the First Lady Michelle Obama introduces the White House Jazz Studio and addresses the relationship between jazz and American democracy.

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The Pulse of Jazz in American History and Culture 

In this magazine article, the noted jazz critic and journalist Nat Hentoff, inspired by the event of Let Freedom Swing, shares his thoughts on the relationship between jazz and U.S. history and democracy. His perspectives on the importance of free speech and the spirit of journalism can be found in this article.

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Jazz Lessons for K-12 

A list of jazzy lessons that cover different subjects including social studies, language arts, music and math is presented in this PBS classroom resource site.

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Jazz-A Film by Ken Burns 

This is a resourceful website of the groundbreaking PBS documentary series, Jazz. A rich collection of multimedia materials, including interactive Jazz lessons, spatial development and historical background of Jazz, biographies, and much more are presented on this site.

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