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December 4, 2020

Graduate from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Swing University” this January


Swing University

Calling all Michigan jazz lovers! This January, UMS will join forces with Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) to offer Swing University: Jazz as a Tool for Liberation for the Michigan community. This four-session online course invites participants to explore jazz through a social justice lens and understand its historic role as a liberation tool in the United States.

Each class will be led via Zoom by Seton Hawkins, JALC’s Director of Education Resources and Public Programming, in an informal lecture and discussion format with special guests from Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet. With a focus on four key cities, the classes are sequential, but each 75-minute session can be enjoyed as a standalone experience. Swing University is recommended for learners 16 and up.

UMS is pleased to offer this course in collaboration with Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education & Recreation.

Reserve all 4 Sessions and save

Reserve all 4 sessions for just $30, or explore individual classes below ($10 per session; $5 for students). All sessions are Wednesday evenings at 7 pm ET.

Jan 6 – New Orleans and the Birth of Jazz
This class will celebrate the complex musical traditions of New Orleans, and look at the unique assemblage of styles in the 19th Century that gave rise to early Jazz. What do they tell us about the development of popular music in America? And what did the earliest Jazz sound like? How did New Orleans’ engagement with Jazz change throughout the 20th century?
Reserve Individual Class

Jan 13 – Chicago and the Spread of Jazz
By the 1920s, Jazz had developed, changed its sound, and spread throughout the country. This class will look at its arrival in Chicago by hearing the legendary bands of the era, as well as newcomers to the music who fell in love with it and created their own unique spin on Jazz.
Reserve Individual Class

Jan 20 – New York and the Big Bands
As the 1920s Jazz Age gave way to the 1930s Swing Era, Jazz’s merging into dance orchestras gave rise to big bands. With them, Jazz would reach unprecedented levels of popularity. While cities throughout the United States contributed to this phenomenon, this class will explore how New York would serve as a legendary base of operations for big bands.
Reserve Individual Class

Jan 27 – Detroit Before Motown
With a thriving Jazz scene, a rich Blues tradition, and some of the finest big bands in the country, Detroit’s contributions to America’s development of Jazz runs deep and cuts across decades and genres. From the extraordinary bands gracing the Graystone Ballroom to the rise of pioneering artists like Betty Carter and Elvin Jones, to contemporary figures like James Carter, Detroit has delivered an impact on Jazz’s development that cannot be overstated. This class will dive into its rich legacy.
Reserve Individual Class