New Article by Music Lecturer Explores Race and Authenticity in Jazz

Miles Davis, Getty Images
Friday, January 10, 2020
Kelsey Klotz's article has been published in the Journal of Jazz Studies.

A new article by Dr. Kelsey Klotz, a lecturer in the Department of Music, explores race and authenticity in jazz. The article, "Performing Authenticity 'In Your Own Sweet Way,'" has been published in the Journal of Jazz Studies, Volume 12, Number 1.

Klotz's article looks at the role that race plays in establishing a jazz tune, performance, or performer as "authentic" through the specific occasion of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis's recordings of Dave Brubeck's original tunes “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke.” While Dave Brubeck, a white pianist and composer, was widely recognized as a leader of the West Coast "cool" jazz movement, according to jazz critic Ira Gitler, his tunes became legitimately "cool" only once they were recorded by Davis, a black musician. Access the full article here.

A jazz scholar, Dr. Klotz is currently working on a book manuscript titled Dave Brubeck and the Performance of Whiteness. Past paper presentations include “Dave Brubeck in the Living Room: Race, Gender, and Respectability in the Conversation of a ‘New’ Jazz Audition” at the American Musicological Society national conference and “Dave Brubeck, Whiteness, and Cold War Racial Politics” at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s national conference.

Pictured: Miles Davis, Getty images