Mass-mediated global artists like Beyoncé Knowles and Kendrick Lamar have become important symbols of resistance in today’s moment of social activism. Music possesses infinite allegorical potential. This course will explore the music’s potential for teaching us artistic activism in this “all-hands-on-deck” moment. How does music model the community values we require?
Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr.
Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music
Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. is a musicologist, pianist, composer and the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania. A widely published author, he's the author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History and the Challenge of Bebop and African American Music: Grove Music Essentials (Kindle Edition). He is currently completing two new books, a collection of mid-career essays titled Who Hears Here? and a monograph history of African American music from the slave-era to the present. As the leader of the band Dr. Guy's MusiQology, he has released three CDs (Y the Q, The Colored Waiting Room and B Eclectic and has performed at Venues such as The Blue Note in New York and the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Among his other musical works is "Someone Is Listening," a commission written with poet Elizabeth Alexander commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP. His three-movement suite for voice and jazz ensemble, Art Songs in the Kingdom of Culture, which premiered in February 2012 was written in honor of W.E.B. DuBois. His documentary film Amazing: The Tests and Triumph of Bud Powell was a selection at the BlackStar Film Festival in 2015. He co-curated the 2010 exhibition Ain't Nothing Like the REal Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institute and was a contributing scholar to the Museum of Modern Art's recent exhibitionTiOne-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Works. Ramsey is the founder and editor of the popular blog, Musiqology.com., which takes on musical issues of the day. He received a doctorate in musicology from the University of Michigan and taught at Tufts University before joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1998. He was a Thurgood Marshall Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College, a DuBois Institute Fellow at Harvard University, and has held visiting professorships at Princeton University and Harvard University. Follow him on Twitter @DrGuyMusiqology.