Though sometimes considered an anomaly in jazz, violinists have been central to its development, creating some of its most exciting, innovative music. We’ll discover the reasons for this disconnect, meet the influential musicians and find out how their music reflects the social, racial, technological and musical influences of their times.
We will trace the violin’s evolution from the eras of African prehistory, slavery and the pre-jazz period to the birth of the blues. We’ll see how jazz violin was shaped by two early 20th-century personalities, Will Marion Cook and James Reese Europe, and by later soloists such as Joe Venuti, Stéphane Grappelli and Eddie South. We’ll also explore the cross-fertilization of jazz and classical music. Throughout, we’ll enjoy vintage recordings as well as demonstrations by the instructor.
Note: Back by popular demand. This is a more in-depth exploration of themes from A History of Jazz Violin, from fall 2017.
Interested in more courses on jazz violin? See The History of Jazz Violin: From Swing to the Present.