Lana Crowe (UCL) - 2021-22 Students

'More than jazz and jiving': An interdisciplinary study of Duke Ellington's synthesis of the arts

Esteemed composer Duke Ellington (1899-1974) created some of the most enduring work in the history of jazz. But his legacy reaches beyond music: often in collaboration with his writing partner Billy Strayhorn, he also wrote poetry and drama, and created genre-transcending mixed-media works that have been overlooked in Ellington scholarship. Taking Such Sweet Thunder (their musical ‘parallel’ of Shakespeare’s works) as a starting point, I will reconsider works by Ellington and Strayhorn that have a programmatic or narrative element in light of the cultural and aesthetic questions raised by the Shakespeare suite and its kaleidoscopic contexts.

Primary supervisor: Prof. Paul Gilroy, UCL
Secondary supervisor: Dr Daniel Matlin, KCL

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