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Jazz Scholar Speaking at UCR

Leading Jazz Scholar To Speak at UCR

(May 30, 2002)

Douglas Daniels, a leading scholar on tenor jazz saxophonist Lester Young, will give a free public talk about the legendary musician at 5 p.m., Friday June 7, in room 1500 of the Humanities Building at the University of California, Riverside. For more details about Daniels’ talk, call the Center for Ideas and Society at (909) 787-3987.

Daniels’ is the final event in the two-year African Diaspora speaker series and is sponsored by the History Department and the Center for Ideas and Society at UCR with a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Daniels, a black studies and history professor at UC Santa Barbara, authored the book, “Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester ‘Prez’ Young,” which Beacon Press published earlier this year. Daniels is the first scholar to interview Young’s family and bandmates during his heyday, spanning the swing era of the 1930s and the bebop movement of the late 1940s. Jazz vocalist Billie Holliday is said to have dubbed Young “Prez” in reference to his importance to the music genre.

Young’s smooth musical style bridged the melodic improvisations of swing with the chord-based and more adventuresome sounds of the be-bop movement made famous by those who followed, such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon. Young’s personal flash and slang-peppered speech also influenced the music scene.

Maps and directions to events at UCR are available at information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances, or on the campus Web site

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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