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History of Jazz in Detroit

Micah Erstling, Kate Bushell, Michael Diana, Alessandria Dey, Richard Wenner, Authors

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The middle of the 20th century set the stage for heated racial conflict in Detroit, Michigan.  Jazz music was an integral factor in bridging racial tensions between African Americans and white Americans living in Detroit at the time.  

To explore this, research was undertaken on the state of the city during this time period, and interviews with prominent jazz musicians such as Billy Mitchell, Dick Katz, Charles McPherson, and Sheila Jordan - musicians who either lived in Detroit during this era, or who were identified with the city - were closely examined.  These interviews are on the Hamilton College Jazz Archive and are freely accessible here.  To begin, choose a topic from the side menu.





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