With jazz, Luke Stewart, member of the Hermitage, democratizes musical creation

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When jazz materialized as an art form in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it carried with it an implicit goal of democratizing music. Created largely by African Americans who were denied access to formal musical training and who were influenced by their West African roots, the genre has come to symbolize the pursuit of freedom of s ‘Express. Operating in a marginal orbit around Western European musical traditions, the jazz approach to music gave its early followers the agency to establish their own provenance and build a genre with open access.

And for Hermitage colleague Luke Stewart, improvisation continues to be one of the jazz genre’s most effective tools in continuing its long tradition of free access and free expression. The multi-instrumentalist, who begins his second artist’s retirement next week, is best known for his avant-garde improvisational soundscapes on both electric bass and double bass. His virtuoso style allows him to create tracks and feedback loops with accompanying musicians who can include any combination of horns, drums and vocals. As he jumps together solo and back in ensemble, his career, in a way, has been made up of belonging to every group and no group at all – he is primarily an individual in his own right. orbit that for a time meets with other celestial bodies on a stage or street to create a beautiful, striking sound.

“Improvisation is a practice that has historically been aesthetically and structurally marginalized alongside this composer’s idea of ​​a capital ‘C’,” Stewart explains of freeform jazz. This composer, according to Stewart, also embodied all the implicit and explicit power differentials in a society, and served to keep access to musical composition, performance and ownership. Stewart’s career is an attempt to advocate for a more egalitarian approach to music.

“Creating music is a collective process,” explains Stewart, “a process in which the composer, the conductor, the musicians and even the audience share an idea. “As part of Stewart’s stay at the Hermitage, he will participate in a performance and musical creation masterclass with Booker High students entitled” The Edge of Music “in which he will share some of his ideas on an approach to music. music that he hopes can transform the way we exist in the world. “Breaking down a concept that not only affects music, but also how we perceive and accept all art forms,” says Stewart, “and even how we relate to each other.”

“The Edge of Music” will take place on Friday December 17th at 5.30pm. Click here to find out more.

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Ada J. Kenney