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Jazz and Flight: An All-American Duet

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Jazz and Flight: An All-American Duet

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0063
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
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Jazz and powered flight are American cousins, born and raised at the same time in surprising, almost eerie parallel paths. The great innovators were exact contemporaries: the Wright brothers and Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong and Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager and Charlie Parker, and many more.

Milestones in the history of the music and the history of flight sometimes occurred within days of one another. A mastery of technique connects both disciplines: A pilot, like a soloist, makes a thousand decisions every second, secure in their skill but sensitive to the changing moments around them. They are each dependent on air: instruments moving it to create sound, airplanes moving through it to create lift.

In a program richly illustrated with film and music, aviation writer and filmmaker Paul Glenshaw takes off on a journey infused with truly American style and innovation. He examines how the combined stories of jazz and flight reveal the arc of 20th-century history, from the profound contributions of courageous individuals to the mutual influence of the machines and the music that underscored dramatically changing times.

Glenshaw is a regular contributor to the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, co-writer and producer of the PBS documentary Barnstorming, and co-writer and director of the documentary The Lafayette Escadrille. During the pandemic, he has co-created The Seven Tones Project, pairing musicians and filmmakers to create short films based on the music of Duke Ellington.

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