Need help with registration?
2023 Spring

Classes are free for members

1959: The Year That Changed Jazz

Instructor: Frank Johnson

Thursdays • 8 classes • 3/23-5/11 • 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Class size 5-25 students
17 seats remaining
Location: Jewett 295

Many individual artists and recordings have greatly influenced the direction of jazz over the last century but 1959 witnessed a transformational and collective change in how the music was preformed. Eight highly influential albums were released that year by a diverse collection of musicians. We will explore these landmark albums and the significance each played over the next several decades. The eight albums are: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ “Moanin'”, Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out”, Ornette Colman’s “The Shape of Jazz to Come”, John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”, Abbey Lincoln’s “Abbey Is Blue”, Charles Mingus’ “Mingus Ah Um”, and Sun Ra’s “Jazz in Silhouette”.

Groundbreaking in their own time, each album is still admired for its musical statement and continued staying power.  We will listen to how fresh much of this music remains after over 60 years.

Frank Johnson has a lifelong passion and interest in African-American music: jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, soul, and Afro-Latin. He has a collection of over 4,000 albums covering these genres. In addition, he has a personal library of over 250 books on African-American musical styles, musicians and cultural influences.


COVID REQUIREMENTS:  Masks are required in classrooms, unless waived by the instructor. We recommend carrying a mask at all times while on the campus to use as needed.