IREMU-UT 1819.001 | 4 units | Instructor: Ned Sublette
Taught by New York-based scholar Ned Sublette, author of Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, in collaboration with Havana-based Latin Grammy-winning music producer Caridad Diez, the class will revolve around Havana’s famed Jazz Plaza music festival; students will attend the festival for six consecutive nights, along with other events.
Students should expect an intense but rewarding schedule of events. Free time will be in the mornings, with afternoons taken up by classes and most nights by performances. While Jazz Plaza is the world’s premier festival for Cuban jazz, musicians from many different countries come to perform, with a significant US participation. Nor is jazz the only musical offering: the festival’s citywide roster of simultaneous programs includes a variety of Cuban musical styles, both traditional and contemporary.
Class discourse will unfold through daily lectures and discussions incorporating elements of a wide range of disciplines to offer the student the chance to shape his or her personal vision of the culture of the grand 500-year-old city of Havana. Class sessions will feature visits from distinguished musical guests as well as dance lessons, as music and dance in Cuban culture are often intricately connected.
The intellectual approach will be Postmamboist, i.e., taking music as the center of understanding and using music to interrogate other disciplines. Knowledge of Spanish is not required, nor is prior study of music required, although either of those will enhance the student’s experience considerably.