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"Louis Armstrong, Lazy River, and the Great American Songbook: An Intermedial Approach"

Guest lecture (Jan. 10th) by Prof. Dr. Daniel Stein on Louis Armstrong's performative mixture of music, text, and image

Louis Armstrong 1953

The African American jazz trumpeter, vocalist, actor, and autobiographer Louis Armstrong (1901-1970) is often associated with the “Great American Songbook,” a loose collection of songs by American composers that were published between the 1920s and the 1950s and that have served generations of interpreters as inspiration and source material. Armstrong is one of the most unlikely and unusual of these interpreters, subjecting these songs to a radical transformation from pop and jazz tunes into idiosyncratic and autobiographically charged performances. This talk centers on one of Armstrong’s most remarkable interpretations of a composition from the Great American Songbook, his 1931 version of Hoagy Carmichael and Sidney Arodin’s “Lazy River” (1930), in order to examine Armstrong’s performative techniques and understand them as complex expressions of a particularly African-American musical and cultural ethos. Approaching the performance’s intermingling of musical, textual, and visual dimensions through the lens of intermedia theory, the talk will further ponder the multiple resonances beyond the source material that make Armstrong’s “Lazy River” an important contribution to American cultural history.

Daniel Stein is Full Professor of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Siegen. He has held previous positions in Berlin, Göttingen, and Ann Arbor and has been part of the DFG-funded Popular Seriality Research Unit as a researcher and project leader. His research interests include comics and graphic narratives, African American literature and culture, jazz literature and jazz historiography, autobiography studies, teaching methodology, and theories of American media and popular culture since the 19th century. In 2013, he received the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize for outstanding scholarly achievements (awarded by DFG / BMBF).


All faculty and students are cordially invited to join us for a lively lecture and discussion on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 from 2-4 pm in room 01F03.


Christina Maria Koch

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 14.12.2017 · Kochchr4

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