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Improvisation and Transcultural Understanding Coordinator, Co-investigator

University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Lipsitz’s research and teaching interests include race, culture, and social identities; twentieth-century US history; urban history and culture; and social movements. He also teaches the history of jazz. He is the author of Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism and the Focus of Place" (1994), Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture (2001), and Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music (2007). He has also edited two autobiographies by musicians: Johnny Otis’s Upside Your Head! Rhythm and Blues on Central Avenue and Preston Love’s A Thousand Honey Creeks Later: My Life in Music from Basie to Motown and Beyond. He has published articles on improvisational collaborations among members of the Black Artists’ Group in St. Louis and on multi-instrumentalism and musical works that include theatre, spoken word art, and even visual art. He has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, an MA from the University of Missouri-St., Louis, and a doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

So one of the things that improvisation has come to mean in the context of highly technological performance is that improvisation is the last claim to the legitimate presence of a human in the performance of music.

– Bob Ostertag