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The Political Implications of James Baldwin’s Jazz Short Story Sonny’s Blues

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When:February 2, 2017 @ 7:00 pm


Literary Arts
925 SW Washington Street
Portland, OR 97205


On February 2 at 7:00, PDX Jazz will present the second program in its adult education series, “Discover Jazz.”

Reed College Professor and PDX Jazz Board Member Pancho Savery will host the evening’s events, including a lecture, recorded music, and discussion. In this presentation, Mr. Savery will focus on James Baldwin’s classic short story “Sonny’s Blues,” which pits two brothers against each other. The older one, unnamed, is a straight-laced vet who is now a married math teacher; and his younger brother, Sonny, a recovering drug addict, is a jazz piano player. What does it mean that one brother’s idea of jazz is Louis Armstrong, and the other’s is Charlie Parker? How much, if any, does this difference make, and does this difference have any political implications?

This event is free to the public on a first-come, first-served seating basis. The first event Mr. Savery hosted was standing-room-only, so we advise an early arrival.

In anticipation of the event, you can read Baldwin’s story by clicking here