Jazz Was Not Meant for the Dinner Table | T.S. Monk

February 25, 2015 2:22 PM

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Jazz Was Not Meant for the Dinner Table | T.S. Monk

A funny thing happened on the way to "school," and "dinnertime" got really strange. Let me explain. When I was born in 1949, America's musical academia was paying little attention to jazz as an intellectual endeavor. In fact, there was an open hostility from classical music departments across the board towards the genre. Only recently has America begun to take any true African-American intellect seriously. The likes of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Henry Louis Gates and Maya Angelou; playwrights like August Wilson; of course, President Barack Obama; and many others from disciplines including science, business, technology and the arts, have all raised the ante for most in America. African American intellect and innovation can no longer be ignored.

But I want to talk jazz for a moment, because early on, jazz was recognized as an enormous intellectual endeavor by many classical giants upon its very inception nearly 100 years ago. That certainly was a good thing. But once pulled into the world of academia, minus its black creators, there was a g...

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