"America's Music": A film history at Fairfield University


Image: Blue GrassFairfield University invites the public to "America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway," a series of documentary screenings and scholar-led discussions on 20th century American popular music. The University's DiMenna-Nyselius Library is one of just 50 venues nationwide selected to participate in the series.

Designed for a general audience, "America's Music" will introduce genres of American popular music that are deeply connected to the history, culture, and geography of the United States. Older and younger Americans alike will have the chance to recognize how the cultural landscape that they take for granted today has been influenced by the development of the popular musical forms discussed in this series.

"America's Music" is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. "America's Music" has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. The Fairfield Public Library and the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences also supported this project.

"We are delighted to have been selected to host this series!" said Laura Nash, Ph.D., professor of music. "American music in the 20th century highlighted and contributed to many changes in American society. These social changes, as well as changes in technology, transportation, and economics, created a mass market for popular music. We will examine these genres in the context of key social and historical developments, with events in American music history acting as a catalyst for that examination."

Each hour-long session focuses on a uniquely American genre, including Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock 'n' roll, and hip hop. They will take place in the Library's MultiMedia Room.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, November 4, 7:30 p.m. - Martha LoMonaco, Ph.D., professor of theatre, will introduce and discuss Broadway and Tin Pan Alley.
  • Monday, November 18, 7:30 p.m. - Laura Nash, Ph.D., professor of music, will present Latin Rhythms from Mambo to Hip Hop.
  • Monday, November 25, 7:30 p.m. - Dr. Nash will introduce Country and Bluegrass.
  • Monday, December 2, 7:30 p.m. - Brian Torff, director of the Music Program, will present Swing Jazz.
  • Monday, December 9, 7:30 p.m. - Dr. Torff will discuss Rock.

For more information, contact University Librarian Joan Overfield at jtoverfield@fairfield.edu or Dr. Nash at lnash@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 1, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 104