Popular Music and the American Identities

Creative Conversations are a series of events that are meant to engage Tallahassee community. The Popular Music and American Identities panel decision marks the opening of the season with a focus on how cultures have changed when it comes to music in America.

This free series was held at Florida State University and open to the community to deepen the audience understanding, as well as embrace the change of how the world views American music today. A panel of veterans discussed key issues.

Potential topics included the Harlem Renaissance and black culture, brass bands and early folk music, the young artists of today and how they are conceptualizing and popularizing music from these decades.  Also, they discussed the demands that are being asked of artist today verses the artist from the past.

The panel opened up with topics that have been studied by people from around the world.  From Japan to Europe, American music has changed the way most cultures view music today. Popular music has helped create paths and relationships.

According to one of the panelist, Jawole Zollar, it’s the music that is played in the clubs that helps create those paths and relationships.

“It’s the music that’s played in the clubs, music that we all move to, musicians that were inspired by these early brass band ensembles,” Zollar said.

Many cultures have benefited from American music.

Meg Jackson, another panelist, discussed how a lot of music is made in the country that people do not know about.  

“You have all this music making going on all around the country that you don’t even know about,” Jackson stated.  

The identities that American music created has deeply embedded itself in world culture by creating their own sounds and cultural traditions. American pop culture has had a major role on how people outside the United States view American music.

Creative Conversations discussed how American identities and popular music gave its listeners something to hear and look forward to. Enjoying the rhythms and beats of popular music has set up a way of living for most Americans and different countries around the world.

Christopher Heacox, the host of the event, expressed his opinion on the panelist.

“It’s a wide open discussion with great panelists giving their insight and view points on the specific issues as it pertained to their career and personal lives,” Heacox said.

These themes come from the work of a number of artists who will be performing at the 2014-2015 series. The series will include groups such as: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Raisin' Cane, The Hot Sardines, Steep Canyon Rangers, Sierra Hull, and The Time Jumpers. The discussion does not necessarily pertain specifically to these artists, but rather the trends and qualities that are put forth by their music.