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How The Jazzmen Transformed America

June 17 @ 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm

Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Count Basie were not just toe-tappingly brilliant musicians, they were social reformers. The jazzmen opened America’s ears and souls to the magnificence of their melodies, ensuring that race, for once, fell away as America listened rapt. In celebration of Juneteenth, biographer Larry Tye will share this untold side of our trio of maestros, showing why it’s a vital piece of our history as well as the story of today.


Larry Tye is a New York Times bestselling author whose most recent book is The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Satchmo Armstrong and Count Basie Transformed America.

Tye’s first book, The Father of Spin, is a biography of public relations pioneer Edward L. Bernays. Home Lands looks at the Jewish renewal underway from Boston to Buenos Aires. Rising from the Rails explores how the black men who worked on George Pullman’s railroad sleeping cars helped kick-start the Civil Rights movement and gave birth to today’s African-American middle class. Shock, a collaboration with Kitty Dukakis, is a journalist’s first-person account of ECT, psychiatry’s most controversial treatment, and a portrait of how that therapy helped one woman overcome debilitating depression. Satchel is the biography of two American icons – Satchel Paige and Jim Crow. Superman tells the nearly-real life story of the most enduring American hero of the last century. Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon explores RFK’s amazing transformation from cold warrior to fiery leftist.

In addition to his writing, Tye runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship, which helps the media do a better job reporting on critical issues like public health and pandemics, mental health and the health impacts of climate change, and racial, ethnic and gender disparities in health care. From 1986 to 2001, Tye was an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, roving national writer, investigative reporter, and sports writer. Before that, he was the environmental reporter at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, and covered government and business at The Anniston Star in Alabama. Tye, who graduated from Brown University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993-94. He taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts.

This session is co-sponsored by CSP. Learn more at www.occsp.net


June 17
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Event Category:


Zoom – Open to the Public