Jazz Italian Style, Author Talk and Book Signing
Anna Harwell Celenza, Thomas Caestecker professor of music, Georgetown University
In Jazz Italian Style, Anna Celenza will explore a complex era in music history, when politics and popular culture collided with national identity and technology. When jazz arrived in Italy at the conclusion of World War I, it quickly became part of the local music culture. In Italy, thanks to the gramophone and radio, many Italian listeners paid little attention to a performer's national and ethnic identity. Nick LaRocca (Italian-American), Gorni Kramer (Italian), the Trio Lescano (Jewish-Dutch), and Louis Armstrong (African-American), to name a few, all found equal footing in the Italian soundscape. The book reveals how Italians made jazz their own, and how, by the mid-1930s, a genre of jazz distinguishable from American varieties and supported by Mussolini began to flourish in Northern Italy and in its turn influenced Italian- American musicians. Most importantly, the book recovers a lost repertoire and an array of musicians whose stories and performances are compelling and well worth remembering.
Celenza's book will be available for purchase directly before and after the lecture.
$15 door fee for guests and subscribers