Columbia News Video Brief

Robert O'Meally Discusses Jazz as an American Institution

Robert O'Meally, founder and director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, discusses jazz as an American institution, Ralph Ellison's quintessential jazz novel "Invisible Man" and the Center for Jazz Studies' interdisciplinary approach.

Part I

The author Ralph Ellison once told O'Meally that jazz is an American institution like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Here O'Meally reflects on the significance of jazz as a self-contained, independent institution with its own set of artistic practices and values.

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Part II

Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" stands with other American classics such as "Moby Dick" and "Walden," and still it is also the quintessential jazz novel in which the reader can hear a "whole culture sounding."

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Part III

iThe Center for Jazz Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of jazz, always combining artistic presentation with scholarship.

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Published: Nov 27, 2001
Last modified:Jan 29, 2004