October 27, 2008
Contact: Sara R. Leonard
Concert and Production Manager

AMHERST, Mass.—The yearlong Amherst College Music festival Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century will continue on Wednesday, Nov. 12, with a lecture by George E. Lewis titled “Mobilitas Animi: Towards New Ethnographies of Improvisation.” Drawing upon Lewis’s extensive experience as a trombonist, improviser and electronics musician, the talk will offer new ways of thinking about jazz, experimentalism and the emerging field of improvised music studies. The lecture, which will be free and open to the public, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Room 212 of the Arms Music Center at Amherst College.

Extremely influential as both scholar and experimental musician/composer, Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music and Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur (“Genius”) Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts and several fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. His highly anticipated recent book Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and Experimental American Music documents in copious detail the development of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, an influential African-American musician organization of which Lewis has been a member since the 1970s.

Lewis has performed with an array of important musicians, including Count Basie, Derek Bailey, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, Bertram Turetzky, David Behrman, David Murray and Wadada Leo Smith, to name just a few. He is also an accomplished installation artist and electronics musician: his “Voyager” software is the first to enable computers to improvise music along with humans.  He has served as music curator for The Kitchen in New York and has collaborated in the Interarts Inquiry and Integrative Studies Roundtable at the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago. His oral history is archived in Yale University’s collection of “Major Figures in American Music.”

The Faultlines festival celebrates jazz pluralism and experimentalism and features some of the most creative and provocative artists in American music.  It includes concerts, performance workshops, talks and roundtable discussions, all free and open to the public and all guaranteed to generate passionate debate about the nature of jazz and its relationship to American cultural identity. The festival is made possible through the generous support of the Amherst College Arts Series Fund, Amherst College Department of Music, Amherst College Mead Art Museum, and UMass-Amherst Fine Arts Center’s Solos and Duos Concert Series and Magic Triangle Concert Series.

For more information about Professor Lewis’s lecture or any other events associated with Faultlines: Mapping Jazz in the 21st Century, visit the festival Web site at www.amherst.edu/faultlines.