Wayne C. Wentzel Lecture Series: Dr. Tammy Kernodle: “This Music is Black Music: Mary Lou Williams and the Re-framing of Jazz’s History in Civil Rights Era America”

March 24, 2023 @ 7:30pm

One of the significant aspects of contemporary jazz scholarship has been its role in illuminating how the jazz community aligned itself with the activity and ideology that defined the mid-century black civil rights movement. The framing of this epoch has largely centered on the relationships musicians formed with movement organizations (e.g., SNCC, CORE, SCLC), how liberation ideology informed specific works, and how it underscored the musical experimentation of the jazz avant garde. Dr. Kernodle’s work extends beyond this to consider the ways movement ideology influenced the way in which black intellectuals, critics and musicians framed the historiography and evolution of jazz during the late 1960s and 1970s. More explicitly, it focuses on how the music and cultural work of pianist/composer/arranger Mary Lou Williams extends this conversation more deeply into the interiority of the 1960s jazz community and reflected the ways in which black women musicians engaged with and challenged the ways in which jazz’s history was being framed.

Tammy L. Kernodle is a musician and scholar that teaches and researches in the areas of African American music (concert and popular music). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, and anthologies. Kernodle is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams and served as Associate Editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of African American Music. She appears in numerous documentaries including Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band, Girls in the Band and the Emmy-award winning Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool and has worked closely with a number of educational programs including The American Jazz Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture, NPR, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the BBC, Carnegie Hall, and New World Symphony.  She is the immediate Past President of the Society for American Music and currently holds the rank of University Distinguished Professor of Music at Miami University in Oxford, OH.

This performance is free and open to the public, no ticket is required.


Masks are strongly encouraged to be worn by all patrons while in the venue. 

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Friday | 3.24.237:30pm
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