Steve Waksman, Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College, gave a historical view of the movement of jazz from “lowbrow” popular music, to “highbrow symphonic art”. Waksman focused on the people that influenced this movement, and how it changed cultural perceptions and expectations of jazz.
Waksman is the author of “Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience” and “This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk”. Waksman was the keynote speaker at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s American Music Masters event honoring the legacy of musician and inventor Les Paul in 2008.
This talk was recorded on December 13, 2016 in Seeyle Hall at Smith College.