cover of book

Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland
by Kurt Dietrich
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2018
Cloth: 978-0-87020-853-9 | eISBN: 978-0-87020-854-6
Library of Congress Classification ML3508.7.W6D54 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 781.6509775

An extensive, upbeat compilation of Wisconsin’s jazz musicians

Although New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago are often considered the epicenters of American jazz, this extensive, upbeat compilation of jazz musician biographies details Wisconsin’s rich association the genre since its  the inception of the genre in the early 1900s. Iconic musicians Bunny Berigan, Woody Herman, Les Paul, and Al Jarreau all hailed from Wisconsin, as have many other influential players, composers, and teachers. Wisconsin Riffs features these musicians side-by-side—from the world-renowned to obscure regional artists—to portray a comprehensive history of jazz in Wisconsin.

Through meticulous research and more than a hundred interviews, author Kurt Dietrich has assembled a group of musicians who represent a wide range of backgrounds, ages, stylistic schools, and experiences—from leaders of swing-era big bands to legendary Wisconsin Conservatory instructors to today’s up-and-coming practitioners of contemporary jazz and jazz rock. For aspiring musicians, jazz enthusiasts, and fans of Wisconsin culture alike, Wisconsin Riffs presents a compelling, complex, and multi-layered concoction—just like jazz itself.

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