CMCI Lecturer Harvey G. Cohen appeared last night on BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves programme, discussing his new book Duke Ellington’s America (University of Chicago Press) with a panel that included musician/journalist Kevin LeGendre and novelist John Harvey. Nightwaves host Philip Dodd wanted to focus on Ellington’s connection to modernism, so Cohen discussed how Ellington fit within the movement’s tendency to champion the cultural contributions of people of colour, women and immigrants. Ellington’s efforts to break down cultural boundaries, especially his successful moves to make popular music and African American music viewed as serious and lasting culture in the 1930s, also fits within the confines of modernism.
The show is available for 6 more days on the BBC iPlayer, it’s titled “Erik Gandini, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Duke Ellington’s America” and the Ellington segment runs from 17.35-31.30. The URL is here: