Bard Events Calendar

Music Program Presents

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Professor Paul Steinbeck, Washington University in St. Louis
Olin 104
6:00 pm
Lecturing on his forthcoming book release, "Message to Our Folks", the first book written about the Art Ensemble of Chicago, one of the most influential groups in jazz and experimental music.
Paul Steinbeck is assistant professor of music theory at Washington University in St. Louis. He is coauthor of Exercises for the Creative Musician, as well as a bassist, composer, and recording artist. 

Formed in 1966 and flourishing until 2010, the Art
Ensemble of Chicago was the flagship group of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and one of the longest-lived bands in music history. But what set the Art Ensemble apart from every other group in jazz and experimental music was its unique approach to performance. Members played hundreds of instruments on stage, recited poetry, performed theatrical sketches, and wore face paint, masks, lab coats, and traditional African and Asian dress. The group, which built a global audience and toured across six continents, presented their work as experimental performance art, in opposition to the jazz industry’s traditionalist aesthetics.
In Message to Our Folks, Paul Steinbeck combines musical analysis and historical inquiry to give us the definitive study of the Art Ensemble. In the book, he proposes a new theory of group improvisation that explains how the band members were able to improvise together in so many different styles while drawing on an extensive repertoire of notated compositions. Steinbeck also examines the intermedia dimensions of the Art Ensemble’s performances and the ways in which their distinctive model of social relations kept the band performing together for four decades. Message to Our Folks is a striking and valuable contribution to our understanding of one of the world’s premier musical groups. 

For more information, call 845-758-6822, or e-mail

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Olin 104