Jazz at Lincoln Center will be hosting a symposium on Albert Murray, the subject of the upcoming book Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of a Nation. This is the first book of scholarly and personal essays on the work of a writer who was instrumental in the founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, June 17, 2010, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m, in The Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Studio at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The panel includes Barbara A. Baker, Auburn University; Paul Devlin, SUNY Stony Brook; Eugene Holley, Jr., jazz writer, Roberta S. Maguire, University of Wisconsin; Sidney Offit, New School for Social Research; Greg Thomas, jazz educator, print and broadcast journalist, former host of Jazz It Up!; Lauren Walsh, New York University; and more.
Copies of the book, edited by Barbara A. Baker and with a preface by Anne-Katrin Gramberg, will be available for purchase at the event from Strand Book Store. Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of a Nation is published by Pebble Hill, an imprint of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities, College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University, and The University of Alabama Press.
This collection consists of essays on various aspects of Murray’s work, written by prominent scholars of African American literature, jazz, and Albert Murray, reminiscences from Murray’s friends and associates, and interviews with Murray himself. It illustrates Murray’s place as a central figure in African American arts and letters and as an American cultural pioneer.
Born in Nokomis, Alabama in 1916, and raised in Mobile, Albert Murray graduated from Tuskegee Institute (now University) in 1939. He later taught there and at many other colleges. He retired as a Major from the U.S. Air Force in 1962 and moved to New York City, where he resides with his wife Mozelle. He is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including the The Omni-Americans: Some Alternatives to the Folklore of White Supremacy and the Fakelore of Black Pathology (essay collection, 1970), South to a Very Old Place (memoir, 1971), The Hero and the Blues (comparative critical essay, 1973), Train Whistle Guitar (highly acclaimed novel, 1974), Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray (1986), and Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Albert Murray and Ralph Ellison (2000), among others. Murray is also the author of the hugely influential Stomping the Blues (1976), a history and aesthetics of jazz. Murray has served on the board of Jazz @ Lincoln Center for many years.
Barbara A. Baker is Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and Associate Professor at Auburn University. She is the author of The Blues Aesthetic and the Making of American Identity in the Literature of the South. Anne-Katrin Gramberg is Professor of German and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University.
The University of Alabama Press, celebrating 65 years of fine publishing, is one of the largest and fastest-growing publishers in the South. It publishes more than one hundred books a year in archaeology, military history, Judaic studies, literary criticism, communication, sports, Civil Rights, religion, southern history, and regional topics.
The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities is the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts center for public engagement. It strengthens the bonds between the College of Liberal Arts and the public by creating and implementing arts and humanities programs that explore our individual and collective experiences, values, and identities through the past, in the present, and for the future.