1959 in Jazz History with Gil Harel: Coltrane's Giant Steps

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Wilton Library
Brubeck Room

Event Details

Please join us for the third program of our new four-part series with Dr. Gil Harel on the seminal jazz albums of 1959.The series will run as follows:

  • 3/20/24: Miles Davis' Kind of Blue
  • 4/10/24: Dave Brubeck's Time Out
  • 5/22/24: John Coltrane's Giant Steps
  • 6/18/24: Jazz Post-1959 Diverging Paths
The year 1959 was an exceptionally busy year for John Coltrane. Indeed, the iconic saxophone player and composer was featured prominently on Kind of Blue (the style of that record - modal jazz - would be one that Coltrane would revisit in subsequent years). Later in the year, he recorded an album that would become one of the most influential in the genre: Giant Steps. The name of the album proved apropos, as the leap into unprecedented chord progressions and improvisational patterns would raise Coltrane's status to that of a legend. Even today, multiple tracks on the record remain standard practice templates for aspiring saxophone players. Join Professor Gil Harel as we dive into the history and score of this massively influential album.

Registration strongly recommended. Register online or call 203-762-6334.

Gil Harel (PhD, Brandeis University) is a musicologist and music theorist whose interests include styles ranging from the western classical repertoire to jazz. Previously, he served on the faculty at CUNY Baruch College (where he was awarded the prestigious “Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching”). Currently, he is Full Professor of Music at CT State Naugatuck Valley, where he has been presented with the AFT "Merit Award for Exemplary Service to the College" for 6 consecutive years. In 2020, he was honored with the coveted Connecticut Board of Regents (BOR) Teaching Award. At NVCC, Dr. Harel conducts the college chorale, a cappella ensemble, teaches music history and theory, and serves as musical director of theater productions.

Event Type(s): Library Program
Age Group(s): Adults

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