Program Details

Enjoying Modern Jazz

Mark Gridley
Music / Arts & Letters

Course Description

The goal of this lecture series is to cultivate strategies for focused listening and familiarity with modern jazz. Dr. Gridley seeks to help each participant discover at least one style that brings great personal pleasure. The series will be highly interactive listening guided by highlighting accessible assets of each style.


  1. The origins of Bebop in Art Tatum, Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Buster Smith. The music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell.
  2. The origins of Cool Jazz.
  3. Music of Art Blakey and Horace Silver, Cannonball and Nat Adderley.
  4. Origins of Jazz-Rock Fusion and how to appreciate its new accompaniment sounds. Music of John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Joe Zawinul.

About the Instructor

  • Mark C. Gridley, Ph.D., is a professional jazz saxophonist-flutist-bandleader who taught jazz history and appreciation at Case Western Reserve University, where he developed America's most widely used introductions to jazz: Jazz Styles: History and Analysis and its abridged edition, Concise Guide to Jazz (Prentice-Hall). His books have been translated into six foreign languages. His articles appear in numerous academic musicology journals as well as Groves Dictionaries of Music and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Gridley has been honored by the Educational Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award, and he is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America.