Nielsen Concert Series - Damani Philips Quartet

November 14, 2019

Join us on Monday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand View University Speed Lyceum for the first Nielsen Concert Series of the academic year, Damani Philips Quartet.

Jazz in the Fight for Civil Rights: Jazz as Protest Music

During the Civil Rights movement, many musicians joined African-Americans in using their musical voices as a catalyst for demanding change in America. While popular music artists such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and James Brown were more overt in voicing their opposition to the status quo through their music, many overlook the more subtle sonic contributions that jazz musicians made to this righteous cause. Through a combination of live performance, spoken remarks and a visual presentation, this unique program will highlight some of the more prevalent examples of jazz music’s alignment with the African-American fight for civil rights and the backstory behind their creation. 

Dr. Damani Philips is a native of Pontiac, MI, where he began playing at the age of 10. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Iowa, where he teaches applied jazz saxophone, directs jazz combos and teaches courses in African-American music, African-American culture, jazz education and improvisation. He has earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from DePaul University (Chicago) and The University of Kentucky in classical saxophone; and a second Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Wayne State University (Detroit). Phillips completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009; becoming one of the first African-Americans in the country to earn this degree. He was named a Yamaha performing artist in 2014.

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