What do jazz music, Africa, cotton farming, Indian spirituality, and a triangle have to do with Geography? On 18 March 2007, we found out.

Geography And All That Jazz

Arjun Gupta Sarma is high school student at Bangalore International School. An ardent and budding geographer, jazz music is one of his passions. On 18 March

Geography and all that Jazz, 18 March 2007.

2007 (at the time, he was in Grade 9), he gave a multi-media, interactive public lecture on the inter-relationships between jazz music and Geography.

All musical genres have geographical ties in their origins, developments, growth, diffusion, etc. One such genre is jazz. Where did jazz originate? Why there? What were the influences of Geography on its evolution into subsequent, derivative, genres? How did these diffuse in geographic space and what messages did (and do) they convey?

In this lecture, Arjun explored the role of place in the history, development, and spread of jazz. Taking the audience on a geographical-musical odyssey, he described five movement patterns:

  1. Europe to the USA
  2. Africa to the southeastern USA
  3. New Orleans to New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and back
  4. USA to Latin America
  5. USA to India

Geography and all that Jazz, 18 March 2007.

He used slides, digital recordings, and live instrumental music that he played to enthrall the audience.

The lecture was jointly sponsored by The Indian Institute of Geographical Studies, Bangalore International School, and One Shanthi Road.

UPDATE (22 Sep. 2011): Arjun is now an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, CA (USA).

Geography and all that Jazz, 18 March 2007.

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