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Civic Jazz

Civic Jazz cover photo

Civic Jazz uses jazz as a model for rhetoric. Because the creation of jazz requires strong
individuals to cooperate, listen to each other, adapt themselves to shared musical moments, and direct personal expression to a common cause, it provides a compelling model for the kind of rhetoric that can sustain democracy. We present this rhetoric, this civic jazz, as an alternative to the destructive discourse practices that have come to dominate public life.

Critically, Civic Jazz uses public performances to reach public audiences. In the performance
pictured above, rhetorician Greg Clark teaches the principles civic deliberation at the University of Paris. As he teaches, the Marcus Roberts Trio plays in the background (and sometimes in the
foreground), illustrating the principles of deliberation in the give-and-take exchanges of musicians
and scholars.

Civic Jazz online (YouTube link)

For more information:

Gregory Clark

gregory_clark at byu dot edu

Author of Civic Jazz: American Music and Kenneth Burke on the Art of Getting Along. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

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