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Songs in the Key of Los Angeles

A musical conversation with author Josh Kun and Quetzal
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Episode Summary

The recently published Songs in the Key of Los Angeles showcases the rich sheet music collection of the Los Angeles Public Library, and is the fruit of a collaboration between USC Professor Kun, his students and the Library Foundation. Join us for a night of rare L.A. musical history, in which the Los Angeles Public Library’s sheet music archive will come alive in story and song when Kun is joined by beloved, GRAMMY-winning Los Angeles band Quetzal.


*Click here to see photos from the program!

Participant(s) Bio

Josh Kun is a professor in the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, where he is director of The Popular Music Project at The Norman Lear Center. He is the author of Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, co-author of And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl, and co-editor of Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border, among other volumes. With The Grammy Museum, he recently curated "Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles 1945-1975", part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time series. He is currently collaborating with The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Public Library, and Angel City Press on Songs in the Key of L.A., a multimedia exploration of Los Angeles through its vintage sheet music.

The music of GRAMMY® Award winning band Quetzal, is at once visceral, and intellectual. It makes you move, it makes you sing, and it makes you think. Sometimes thought of as a rock band, its members draw from a much larger web of musical, cultural, and social engagement. On the band’s latest full-length release Imaginaries, Quetzal creatively combines shades of East L.A.’s soundscape, traditional son jarocho of Veracruz, salsa, R&B, and more to express the political and social struggle for self-determination and self-representation, which ultimately is a struggle for dignity.


Photo Credit: Humberto Howard

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