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Articles on Jazz

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Robotic orchestra conductor ‘Yumi’ performs on stage with the Orchestra Filarmonica di Lucca in Italy in 2017. Laura Lezza/Getty Images

Why improvisation is the future in an AI-dominated world

Machines have been getting better at mimicking improvisation. But can this distinctly human process serve as a bulwark against the mechanization of life and art?
This is not a wok: Japanese musician Natsuki Tamura explores sounds at an online global festival of improvisation, IF 2020. (Ajay Heble/IF 2020)

3 lessons from musical improvisation to help navigate 2021

Improvisation asks us to trust that surprise will teach us something. As we enter a new year and a post-pandemic landscape, musical improvisation offers inspiration.
South African lawyer and part-time fashion model, Thando Hopa, at an exhibition of Drum magazine front pages in. Johannesburg. Gianluigi Gueracia/AFP via Getty Images

Journalism of Drum’s heyday remains cause for celebration - 70 years later

The magazine grew to be the largest circulation publication for black readers in South Africa, and expanded to include East and West African editions.
Duke Ellington leads his orchestra in a rehearsal in Coventry, England, on Dec. 2, 1966. Associated Press

Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice

From spirituals about the trials of slavery to the fight for civil rights and the modern rhythms of swing music, Duke Ellington told a story about black life that was both beautiful and complex.

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