More Ethnomusicology Archive Recordings Now Online at California Light and Sound

The UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive is thrilled to announce that the second round of recordings from our collections are now available at California Light and Sound Collection on the Internet Archive.  California Light and Sound is a project of the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP).  This round of recordings has a special emphasis on African American music in California. 

“As a body of materials, the videos are a treasure trove for researchers interested in Los Angeles black music -- a topic that continues to be under-researched.”—Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology

You can browse the Ethnomusicology Archive channel or go directly to the newly-added videos by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.  But I thought I would highlight a few...

Jester Hairston (1901-2000) was an actor, composer, arranger, and choral conductor.  Hairston came to Los Angeles in 1936 where he established a successful career as an actor and choral conductor for film music.  One of the first African American actors in the Screen Actors Guild, television fans might recognize Hairston as “Rolly Forbes” on the 1986 series Amen.  But he might be best known in Hollywood for his work behind the camera.  As a choral conductor and arranger, Hairston composed or arranged more than 300 songs in films such as Green Pastures, Lost Horizon, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Lilies of the Field, for which he composed the song "Amen" and dubbed the singing voice of actor Sidney Poitier.  He continued to conduct in his 90s, crisscrossing the world as a goodwill ambassador for the State Department.


Guest lecture by Jester Hairston in Ethnomusicology 91P, Music of African-Americans, Professor Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, on November 5, 1992. At 1:07:15, Hairston leads the class in singing "Amen." 

Albert McNeil is a native Angeleno and was raised in Watts.  He earned Bachelor and Master degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles, and did his doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, the Westminster Choir College of Princeton, and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.  He is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California at Davis, where he was Director of Choral Activities for 21 years and headed the Music Education Program.  Simultaneous with the Davis appointment, he taught Ethnomusicology at the University of Southern California for 12 years.  The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers (founded 1968) are his creation, and he has dedicated himself to upholding a choral tradition of the concert spiritual and the contributions of African American composers of concert, opera, and theater music.


Guest lecture by Prof. Albert McNeil in Ethnomusicology 91P, Music of African-Americans, Professor Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje, on March 5, 1992.

Trumpeter John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917-1993), along with Charlie Parker, ushered in the era of Be-Bop in American jazz.  Gillespie was one of the founding fathers of the Afro-Cuban &/or Latin Jazz tradition, able to fuse African American jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms to form a burgeoning CuBop sound.  Always a musical ambassador, he toured Africa, the Middle East and Latin America under the sponsorship of the U.S. State Department.  In March 1989, Gillespie was a Regents' Lecturer at UCLA.  On March 16th, in a lecture hosted by Prof. Jacqueline Cogdell Djedje, he spoke about his time in Africa, jazz history, and told personal anecdotes.  On March 17th, in a lecture hosted by Prof. Steve Loza, Gillespie spoke about jazz in music education and the structure of jazz.


Dizzy Gillespie, UCLA Regents' Lecturer, March 1989 - Note:  Tape 1 content begins at 00:02:45.  In the first video, you can spot Kenny Burrell, Ray Giles and Nazir Jairazbhoy.   On tape 2, Djedje is leading the seminar, which continues to tape 3 and in tapes 3-4 Loza heads the seminar with UCLA Ethnomusicology Founding Chair Nazir Jairazbhoy at all events.

Here is the complete list of the second round of UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive recordings on California Light and Sound.  And more are forthcoming, so stay tuned!!

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