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Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr.  to discuss “Race Music” from Bebop to Hip Hop in Rhythms and Words

Author, musicologist, and jazz pianist to conduct lecture/performance at Moravian College

Bethlehem, Pa., January 19, 2007—Moravian College will hold a lecture/performance by Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., titled “Race Music” from Bebop to Hip Hop in Rhythms and Words on Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m., Peter Hall, Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. The performance-lecture is sponsored by Moravian's Arts and Lectures Committee and the LVAIC Africana Studies Consortium.  Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Musicologist and jazz pianist Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. is currently associate professor and chair of Graduate Studies in the Music Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a specialist in African American and American music, jazz, cultural studies, popular music, film studies, and historiography. He is the author of Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, voted outstanding book of 2003 by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and the forthcoming book Curtis Mayfield: Gentle Giant of Soul.

Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, covers the vast and various terrain of African American music, from bebop to hip-hop. Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., begins with an absorbing account of his own musical experiences with family and friends on the South Side of Chicago, evoking Sunday-morning worship services, family gatherings with food and dancing, and jam sessions at local nightclubs. This lays the foundation for a brilliant discussion of how musical meaning emerges in the private and communal realms of lived experience and how African American music has shaped and reflected identities in the black community. Deeply informed by Ramsey's experience as an accomplished musician, a sophisticated cultural theorist, and an enthusiast brought up in the community he discusses, Race Music explores the global influence and popularity of African American music, its social relevance, and key questions regarding its interpretation and criticism. Beginning with jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel, this book demonstrates that while each genre of music is distinct—possessing its own conventions, performance practices, and formal qualities—each is also grounded in similar techniques and conceptual frameworks identified with African American musical traditions.

Ramsey has published in Black Music Research Journal, Musical Quarterly, American Music, The Journal Black Studies, Callaloo, The New York Times, and The Village Voice. He is also completing a book on jazz pianist Bud Powell and leads the band Dr. Guy's MusiQologY, which is completing its first CD and has performed throughout the U.S. and Lain America.

Peter Hall is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus in historic Bethlehem, Pa. For more information, call 610-861-1491 or visit www.moravian.edu.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.