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20 Apr
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
Apr 20, 2017 | 6:30 PM-8:00 PM

Distinguished Faculty Lecture


Distinguished Faculty Lecture with Kay Kaufman Shelemay

Musical and Moral Leaders: The Musician in Society

We too often underrate the role of musicians, who through musical leadership exercise moral authority in society. This presentation by Kay Kaufman Shelemay, the G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music at Harvard University, suggests that musicians often move beyond the act of performance to redress grievances, evoke long-forgotten memories, and to help us imagine the world anew. The lecture will be illustrated with musical examples.

Kay Kaufman Shelemay is an ethnomusicologist who specializes in musics of Africa, the Middle East, and the urban United States. She holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and is the recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Radcliffe Institute. She is past president of the Society for Ethnomusicology and in 2012 completed terms as a congressional appointee to and former chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Her book Music, Ritual, and Falasha History (1986), won both the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1987 and the Prize of the International Musicological Society in 1988.