In this episode we found out how the swing band, ‘Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy’, helped place popular music at the centre of cultural change in the 1920s and 1930s, and how echoes of early 20th century jazz continues to influence 21st century music.
19 min listen
International Jazz Day takes place on Sunday (30 April), and in this episode of Life Solved Robyn Montague speaks with George Burrows, Professor of Music and Theatre at the University of Portsmouth, about a band leader who moved to his own rhythm, decades before the 1960s pop revolution.
Find out more about how the swing band, ‘Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy’, helped place popular music at the centre of cultural change in the 1920s and 1930s, and how echoes of early 20th century jazz continues to influence 21st century music. Addressing race, gender and even the development of technology, Kirk’s band created a style that attracted white and black audiences in equal measure.
George also introduces us to Mary Lou Williams, one of the early band members, who went on to be a jazz superstar in her own right - contrary to the male-dominated jazz industry of the time.
And if you’re not familiar with jazz music, hear some of the artists discussed, using the links below.
You can also find out more about this work and other research at the University of Portsmouth website: https://www.port.ac.uk/research/
The Recordings of Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy
Musical Theatre and all that jazz
Mary Lou Williams
The Bad Plus
James Mainwaring/ Roller Trio
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