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Jazz and Contemporary Music | Modern Standard: Improvised Music in a Post-Dilla World

Monday • December 4, 2023   |   8:00 pm 9:00 pm

Free – $20.00
Longy’s performance are free and open to the public, but please register in advance.

J Dilla, born James Dewitt Yancey, stands as one of the most influential figures in the realm of hip hop production. His unparalleled contribution to the genre has left an indelible mark, shaping the landscape of contemporary hip hop and extending his influence into the realms of modern jazz and improvisation. Dilla’s distinctive approach to beat-making was characterized by his use of unquantized rhythms and unconventional sampling techniques, creating a sound that was both raw and soulful.

Dilla’s impact on hip hop is best exemplified by his work with iconic artists like A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, and Common. His ability to craft beats that seamlessly blended various musical elements showcased a unique musicality, elevating hip hop production to new heights. Tracks like “Runnin'” and “Stakes Is High” not only became classics in the hip hop canon but also served as a testament to Dilla’s innovative production style.

Beyond his influence on hip hop, J Dilla’s music has had a profound effect on modern jazz and improvisation. Jazz musicians, captivated by his rhythmic intricacies and nuanced use of samples, began to incorporate elements of his production into their own work. The fusion of hip hop and jazz, often referred to as jazz-hop or neo-soul, became a burgeoning genre, with artists like Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington drawing inspiration from Dilla’s sonic palette.

Dilla’s legacy extends to the art of improvisation, as his unorthodox sampling methods challenged traditional notions of structure and composition. Jazz improvisers found common ground in Dilla’s willingness to push boundaries, embracing a more spontaneous and exploratory approach to music-making. This cross-pollination of genres has contributed to the evolution of jazz, allowing it to remain dynamic and relevant in the contemporary music landscape.

JCM Modern Standard: Jazz and Hip Hop Ensemble


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Monday • December 4, 2023
8:00 pm 9:00 pm
Free – $20.00
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Longy’s Alternative Library Performance Space
Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and their “Card to Culture” program, Longy School of Music of Bard College can offer free tickets to many of our diverse and innovative performance offerings. See the full list of participating “Card to Culture” organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.