American Music Review Institute News Jeffrey Taylor, Director

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American Music Review
The H. Wiley Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music
Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Volume XLIV, Number 2
Spring 2015
Institute News
Jeffrey Taylor, Director
This term, the Institute’s Music in Polycultural America series continued with talks that explored diverse locations
and time periods. Evan Rapport of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music presented material related
to his new book Greeted With Smiles: Bukharian Jewish Music and Musicians in New York (Oxford, 2014). Jacob
Cohen introduced a packed house of Brooklyn College students, most of whom had never heard of the Talking
Heads, to the seminal group in “Performing Race, Place, and Hybridity in the Music of the Talking Heads.” And
moving back to American music of the 19th century, Jennifer CHJ Wilson presented on the New Orleans French
Opera Company’s tours to New York from 1827 to 1833. Once again, a highlight of our spring was a jazz concert
with a global theme, with our colleague Arturo O’Farrill and alto saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa performing with the Brooklyn
College Big Band to a large and enthusiastic crowd. As in past years, the
concert was filmed by members of Brooklyn College’s TV and Radio department, and will be shown on CUNY’s cable station. In addition, excerpts will
be available on our website.
Speaking of HISAM Research Associate Arturo O’Farrill, he began
this year by winning a GRAMMY for The Offense of the Drum as Best Latin
Jazz Album. Felix Contreras of NPR described the album as “one of those
moments when the course of music with a long tradition is altered slightly —
when music moves forward in a subtle and graceful way that’s likely to have
a lasting impact” (First Listen, 27 April 2014). During the term he headlined
at several clubs in the US and abroad, gave master classes, premiered a commissioned ballet at the Joyce with Malpaso, a Cuban dance company, and
participated in a panel discussion at the Smithsonian entitled “What Does It
Arturo O’Farrill at the Grammys
Mean To Be American?” O’Farrill has been awarded a Doris Duke “Explorations in Jazz” grant, and is currently performing and collaborating
with artists in the Bronx. He also recently received an Outstanding Achievement in the Arts award from The City
College Center for the Arts. Graduate Assistant Whitney George was chosen as a composer-in-residence for The
Black House Collective in Kansas City, Missouri in March. She has been selected as a composer fellow for the
2015 Atlantic Music Festival and was a finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composers Award (for “Night, like
velvet: in twelve letters”). Among her many musical activities she has been directing her ensemble The Curiosity
Cabinet in a concert series examining the idea of correspondence through music, with support from the Baisley
Powell Elebash Fund at the CUNY Graduate Center; she continues to be a prominent guest conductor of contemporary music in New York.
Finally, it is now possible to subscribe to HISAM online, at hisam.org. Just follow the link on our homepage,
and sign up to receive materials regularly sent out to our mailing list. If you haven’t yet given us your email address, you may do so there. Always note that, although PDFs of our Newsletter articles can be downloaded from
our site, and hard copies may be requested from our office, the full AMR experience is only available online!

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