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Saturday, May 4,2019
Join us on Saturday, May 4 at 7:00 for a presentation by Tom Riis, co-editor of Rethinking American Music
with Keith Waters on piano
Rethinking American Music

The essays in this collection offer an eclectic survey of current music scholarship. Ranging from Tin Pan Alley to Thelonious Monk to hip hop, the contributors go beyond repertory and biography to explore four critical yet overlooked areas: the impact of performance; patronage's role in creating music and finding a place to play it; personal identity; and the ways cultural and ethnographic circumstances determine the music that emerges from the creative process. Many of the articles also look at how a piece of music becomes initially popular and then exerts a lasting influence in the larger global culture. The result is an insightful state-of-the-field examination that doubles as an engaging short course on our complex, multifaceted musical heritage.

Thomas L. Riis received a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Dr. Riis is a specialist in Musical Theatre and writes and lectures frequently on many topics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American music. His book Just Before Jazz, devoted to African-American Broadway shows, received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1995. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, he taught in Lueneburg, Germany, 2005-2006. His other interests include medieval song, historical performance practice, and the music of Frank Loesser. Dr. Riis remains active as a conductor, choral singer, and cellist.

Keith Waters is Professor of Music Theory. His book, The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet 1965-68, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. That book has won a Research in Recorded Jazz Music Award from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC 2012), a New York City Jazz Record “Best of 2011" Award, the Jazz Journalist Association’s “Best of 2011” Award, the 2011 Steve Larson Award for Jazz Scholarship (Jazz Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory), a Kayden Honorable Mention Award (University of Colorado 2012), and was chosen by Down Beat as one of its Editor’s Picks.

He received a PhD in Music Theory from the Eastman School of Music, and a Masters degree in jazz piano from the New England Conservatory of Music. As a jazz pianist, he has performed with James Moody, Eddie Harris, Bobby Hutcherson, Sheila Jordan, and Chris Connor, and has recorded and performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia. His most recent recording, Carolina Tracks (2012), assembles North Carolina’s top jazz musicians; its proceeds are in support of the North Carolina Jazz Scholarship.