Bohemia after Dark: Hipsters, Jazz, and The Beat Generation

GENINT 731.349

Osher (50+).This course explores the influence of jazz on the Beat Generation.


About this course:

Jazz has had a major influence on style, language, literature, and attitude in American culture and counterculture. During the swing era, Cab Calloway popularized the Zoot Suit and published Cab Calloway's Hepster's Dictionary (1938). Slim Gaillard invented his own jive language, while Babs Gonzales helped invent a specific bebop slang. Lord Buckley created jazz-related monologues based on everything from Shakespeare to Ghandi. These artists were the pioneers that paved the way for the post-war arrival of a group of radical literary figures known as the Beats. Jack Kerouac's works, such as On the Road, have significant jazz overtones, while Alan Ginsberg's most famous work, "Howl," was influenced by the tenor saxophone of Lester Young. Kenneth Patchen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Kenneth Rexroth incorporated live jazz into their poetry readings. This course explores these relationships to the history of jazz through rare recordings, film footage, photographs, and memorabilia drawn from the vast archive of The Los Angeles Jazz Institute.

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