sealPurdue News

March 10, 2003

Jazz aficionado offers history of music course

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Music lovers are invited to learn about the Big Band Era with Don Seybold, the man who created the award-winning Convocations Jazz Set, in a four-week course at Purdue University.

The course will examine how America's pop music evolved from the 1920s to 1940s by taking a historical look at music and conditions before and after the Big Band period, which began in the late '20s and was on the wane by 1945. Swing music was America's pop music from 1935 until the end of World War II.

The non-credit course will be from at 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, and April 1, 8 and 15. The course fee is $240, and pre-registration is required.

"Our discussion will consider race, culture, politics, economics and technological elements that were intricately and powerfully attached to jazz and their influence on the music," said Seybold, who teaches jazz history for the Purdue Musical Division. "We will observe how swing's popularity led to its separation from its jazz roots and how it eventually fractured the intertwined histories of African-American and popular music.

"Our historical reflections will take us from the Roaring '20s through Prohibition and the Great Depression on to the end of World War II," he said. "We’ll also talk about some fun facts, such as why hot music was sweetened for white audiences and why Wynton Marsalis asserts that you can't really understand America until you understand Duke Ellington's music."

Seybold, who has played, presented and written about jazz for more than 50 years, has performed with the Purdue Jazz Band since 1982. He also has hosted a local weekly radio jazz program since 1987, which is currently heard from 6-9 a.m. Sunday mornings on 106.7 WGLM-FM.

For more information about the Big Band course, contact Seybold at For information about registering for the course, contact Lisa Harker at (765) 494-2973,

CONTACT: Harker, (765) 494-2973,

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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