Jazz, Death, Famous last concerts
Jazzprofessor Walter van de Leur will look at the intriguing intersections between jazz and death, and specifically at the narratives that surround final concerts and last recording dates.
The connection between jazz and death goes back to the music’s earliest beginnings in New Orleans, where the ‘jazz funeral’ joined live performance with burial practices. Ever since, jazz historiography has had a special fascination with death. There is an entire monograph dedicated to jazz and death, which ”reveals the truth behind the deaths of jazz artists and the secrets of their often fatal lifestyles” (Spencer 2002). Jazzprofessor Walter van de Leur will look at the intriguing intersections between jazz and death, and specifically at the narratives that surround final concerts and last recording dates. The case studies zoom in on some of the notorious last performances of jazz greats in the Netherlands: Eric Dolphy (who recorded his last date in Hilversum and died in Berlin), Ben Webster (who delivered his swan song in Leiden and died in Amsterdam) and Chet Baker (who famously fell from an Amsterdam hotel window).
Jazz-musicologist Walter van de Leur received his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam in 2002, for his research on Billy Strayhorn, published as Something to Live For: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Oxford UP, 2002). Van de Leur teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where he is Research Coordinator, and is Professor of Jazz and Improvised Music at the University of Amsterdam. Van de Leur is on a number of editorial boards, and has forthcoming articles on Ellington and notation (Musical Quarterly), and the Ellington-Strayhorn collaboration (Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington). He is currently working on two book projects respectively evolving around Jazz in Europe and Jazz and Death.
Date & time: Thursday 27 March 2014 | 12 noon - 1 p.m.
Bassist Joris Teepe is the first jazz musician from The Netherlands to be able to make it in New York. Arriving in New York in 1992 with just his bass and a suitcase, he took lessons with Ron Carter, quickly met many musicians and started to work a lot. Only a year later he already recorded his first CD. Joris Teepe will give a performance together with five students from the Prins Claus Conservatory.
Currently Joris Teepe has recorded 10 albums as a leader. He also established himself as a composer, record producer (many different labels and artists), educator (director of Jazz Studies at the Hanze University, Bass Professor at Queens College, NY) and bandleader. He has been working with big names in jazz such as Benny Golson, Sonny Fortune, Rashied Ali, Billy Hart and Randy Brecker.