An examination of the career and legacy of John Hope Franklin, distinguished and prolific scholar and historian of African American history.
Archives for December 2013
As we turn to the new year, what will be different? Look to jazz for the innovation and inspiration, for discovery and improvisation. It’s the core of what jazz represents. It can also be applied to the lives that we live and the dreams that we have in order to make things matter.
It’s that time of the year when we resolve to drink less, exercise more, save money, etc. It may feel really good to intend to do “better” in the new year, but as Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain in this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, real change takes planning and hard work. Why is that? It turns out we have no idea why we do most of the things we do on a daily basis. And as long as our behaviors are driven by factors that operate below our conscious awareness, we may not know how to change. As the Two Guys point out, effective change can happen when we start from the outside in. When we look at our environments first we can make space and cultivate relationships that help us become best selves.
Experiences in higher education and leadership possibilities with Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Tradition compresses time and brings us into the moment of timelessness when things are safe. In jazz, the art of tradition is to recreate sounds and lives, to bring the listener back home, especially during the holidays. The tradition of jazz is the expectation of improvisation and requiring the artist to be on top of their game.
When it comes to what humans find attractive, many factors play a role. Evolutionarily speaking, we tend to be attracted to symmetry and markers that indicate health and wellness. In social terms it has more to do with what’s in fashion at a given moment. But it’s when we begin to react to attractiveness that things get tricky.
A 1998 interview with the stage and film actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as they remember their distinguished careers as artists and civil rights activists in their dual autobiography.
American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker crafted the sound that was eventually called bebop. This deeply soulful music gave him and other musicians a way to express themselves in original ways. Parker’s addiction to heroine unfortunately cut his life short at just 34 years old. He died in the hotel room of his friend Nica.
The part of our brains that is responsible for generating creativity evolved throughout human existence to serve a problem-solving function. If you lived in the great, wild, open world as a primitive human, and your problems were things like predators, or food security sources, or a need for shelter, what would your brain do? Your brain would concoct creative strategies to solve those problems, and that’s what our minds have built a capacity to do as we’ve evolved – create solutions. Drs. Art Markman and Bob Duke give you more of the details.
The life, legend and music of the great Leonard Bernstein. Rabbi, jazz historian and musician Neil Blumofe joins KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with a live jazz ensemble to talk about his legacy.
Leonard Bernstein said, “The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another… and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.” So who is this great artist? What does his life and legacy continue to teach us? And what is his legacy in jazz history?
Drummer Chico Hamilton is considered a voice of West Coast Jazz. He found success in movie soundtracks and eventually formed his own ensemble. In the late ’50s and into the 1960s he performed with many jazz greats like Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Charles Mingus and others.
Whether we like it or not, time marches on. And as it does, we age. One of the most challenging realities for everyone to face in life is that we are all, inevitably, destined to grow old (if we’re lucky, that is). Aging correlates to a steady decline of functional abilities, both physical and mental. Memory and cognition peak in our early twenties, and we begin a very slow, steady decline of those functions as we near our senior years. After age 80, many bodily functions – including brain function – seem to have reached the average limit of their operation. So what can we do to preserve our brains for as long as possible?
The Nutcracker ballerinas dancing at the Long Center wore new costumes on a whole new stage in 2013, and with this Views and Brews we talked about what it means to re-imagine tradition. KUT’s Rebecca McInroy, Designer Emily Cawood and Richard Fatheree of Ballet Austin, and Anthropologist Dr. Richard Flores. They explore the role tradition plays in shaping our identities and building community and what goes into revamping an iconic institution like the nutcracker ballet.