Colburn Playlist: Dr. Ray Briggs on Jazz

Dr. Ray Briggs teaches the History of Jazz for master’s students in the Conservatory of Music. He is also the Assistant Director of Jazz Studies and an Associate Professor of Music at California State University, Long Beach.

He holds a Ph.D and a M.A. degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a M.M. in Music Performance: Woodwind Doubling from the University of Redlands, and a B.M. in Music Education from the University of Memphis. His areas of specialization include Jazz Studies, African American Music, and Arab Music.

Watch his short pre-talk for great insights and the history behind each of these groundbreaking jazz pieces.

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Dr. Ray Briggs on the Playlist


Branford Marsalis: “Berta, Berta” recorded on I Heard You Twice the First Time


Duke Ellington: “Black and Tan Fantasy” included on Duke Ellington, Jazz Masters Deluxe Edition


Louis Armstrong: “(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue” included on Louis Armstrong Sings


Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong: “The Real Ambassador” recorded on The Real Ambassadors


Nina Simone: “Strange Fruit” recorded on Pastel Blues


Charles Mingus: “Haitian Fight Song” recorded on The Clown


John Coltrane: “Alabama” recorded on Live at Birdland


Wynton Marsalis: “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary” recorded on the album of the same title


Kenny Garrett: “Someday We’ll All Be Free” recorded on African Exchange Student


Kamasi Washington: “Malcolm’s Theme” recorded on The Epic


Go back to see more Colburn Playlists.