Black Sounds Matter


Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 4:30pm

FREE! Reservations required.

Robert O’Meally
Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Director, Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University
Visualizing the Music: Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Roy Decarava

Michael Veal
Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music, Yale University
Living Space: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Free Jazz from Analog to Digital 

Moderated by Professor of Music Jay Hoggard.



Robert G. O’Meally has served on the faculty of Columbia University for thirty years. He is the author of The Craft of Ralph Ellison, Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday, The Jazz Singers, and Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey. His edited volumes include The Jazz Cadence of American Culture, Living With Music: Ralph Ellison’s Essays on Jazz, The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, History and Memory in African American Culture, and the Barnes and Noble editions of Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and Frederick Douglass. For his production of a Smithsonian CD set called The Jazz Singers, he was nominated for a Grammy Award. The curator of exhibitions at Jazz at Lincoln Center (2006–2012), O’Meally also has co-curated exhibitions for the High Museum in Atlanta and for the Smithsonian Institution. He has held Guggenheim and Cullman Fellowships, among others. His new books are The Romare Bearden Reader (edited for Duke University Press, February 2019) and Antagonistic Cooperation: Collage, Jazz, and American Fiction (Columbia University Press, 2022). According to his sons, Mr. O’Meally plays the soprano saxophone “for his own amazement.”

Michael E. Veal is the author of Fela: The Life & Times of an African Musical Icon (2001), Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (2007) and the forthcoming Living Space: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Free Jazz, from Analog to Digital. He is also a bassist and leader of the Afrobeat-jazz band Michael Veal & Aqua Ife.


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