Not all trends in late 1930s early ‘40s American culture had a place, of course, in the war effort. That effort was inherently popular, and needed to be. Art, literature, theatre, and music that were not popular were not included in any of the official, commercial or social channels of morale-centric entertainment primarily because there was little demand for it, either among the troops or folks back home in general. This is not to say that these cultural developments were not important, worthy, or, ultimately, deeply influential; just that they were not in tune with the broader currents and needs of their time.
Of the many such movements at play during the World War II years, the one that touches closest to our hearts here at The Shedd, was bebop. Aficionados on the scene in those years recall that this new voice in jazz had its roots in the late ‘30s--an informed, rhythmically and harmonically complex outgrowth of Swing; and that it worked itself out through the early '40s in small group settings in the hands of early pioneers John “Dizzy” Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and the like. It found its way onto the broader jazz scene and onto recordings only after the war, in 1945 and thereafter; and was met even then with significant resistance among the broader American public. Bebop nevertheless tenaciously held its own. And prevailed. And is now, as OFAM music director Jesse Cloninger puts it, “what all of us do.”
Jesse Cloninger and the Festival jazz unit pay tribute to Gillespie, Parker and the pioneers of Bebop in an evening that presents its most iconic early compositions, mixed with select vocal numbers from the period that were close to its aesthetic.
This concert is eligible for The Shedd's Free Shedd Jazz Student Ticket
program, which makes a limited number of free tickets to 2015-16 Shedd jazz concerts available to students elementary through college. The program is made possible by a grant from Chamber Music America
and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
. Contact The Shedd Ticket Office for information.
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(1946) Charlie Parker (m)
(1945) Charlie Parker (m)
(1942) Ervin Drake, Hans Lengsfelder (w) Juan Tizol (m)