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April 14, 2017

UMS in the Classroom: Tribute to the Jazz Epistles


Interested in using a UMS performance in your university classroom? For each performance on the season, we provide suggested curricular connections, links to contextual material online, citations for scholarly material, and prompts for classroom discussion. For additional resources and individualized curricular support, please contact Shannon Fitzsimons Moen, UMS Campus Engagement Specialist, at or (734) 764-3903.

UMS is also committed to making our performances an affordable part of the academic experience. Our Classroom Ticket Program provides $15 tickets to students and faculty for performances that are a course requirement. Please email to set up a group order.


This performance may connect meaningfully with courses in the following schools and disciplines:

  • Afroamerican and African Studies
  • American Culture
  • Global and Intercultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • World Performance Studies
  • Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation
  • Music Education
  • Musicology
  • Piano
  • Strings
  • Winds & Percussion
  • Business
  • Public Policy
  • Social Work



  • How does the Jazz Epistles’ music resonate differently in 2018 than it did when it was originally recorded in 1959? What does it reveal about the time in which it was created?
  • Musicians were often vocal and powerful activists against apartheid in South African, even as many were forced into exile. How do you think music can impact social change?
  • How did the musicians interact with each other onstage? Was there a “leader” during the performance? Did the “leader” figure change at different moments in the performance? How much, and in what way, did the musicians interact with the audience?
  • Describe the different musical styles and influences that you heard in the works on The Jazz Epistles’s program. What combinations surprised you? Why?