In the years following the civil rights movement, African American artists and musicians searched for new ways to contribute to the message of freedom and equality. In Chicago, the black avant-garde formed the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA) as a way to creatively highlight the communities facing racial and economic injustice. Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell, whose exhibition Heritage is on view November 21, 2017, to February 25, 2018, were among the founding members of AfriCOBRA in 1968. In this program, George Lewis, the AACM’s foremost chronicler and author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, shares insights about the new music and art that emerged from Chicago between 1965 and 1975. A member of the AACM since 1971 and the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, Lewis is known internationally for his groundbreaking work as a composer, musicologist, performer, and computer-interactive artist. His lecture includes imagery and musical examples that reference works in Heritage. Free; tickets required.
George Lewis, Professor of American Music at Columbia University, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. His other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015). A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008), and he is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016). His creative work is documented on more than 150 recordings, as presented by the London Philharmonia Orchestra, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Spektral Quartet, Talea Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and others. His opera Afterword (2015) was most recently performed at the Ojai Festival, with additional performances in USA, Europe, and UK. Lewis holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Edinburgh and New College of Florida. More at https://music.columbia.edu/bios/george-e-lewis