Music on the Brain: The Mechanisms of Evolution in Music and Nature

Evolution by natural selection is the process through which living organisms adapt and change. This biological ability to “improvise” has led to the amazing diversity of life on earth today. Jazz musicians also adapt to their environment, selecting harmonies and melodies that resonate with their audience, changing rhythms to fit their music, and calling and responding to their fellow musicians. In our latest edition of Music on the Brain, we explore the mechanisms of evolution in music and nature.

Join multi-instrumentalist jazz musician, composer, and educator T.K. Blue and Zuckerman Institute Evolutionary Biologist Wyatt Toure for a jazz concert and dialogue, exploring the fascinating parallels between evolution and jazz improvisation.

Music on the Brain is a collaboration between the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute with the support of Jazz Foundation of America.

TK Blue

Talib Kibwe, or T.K. Blue, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and educator. He has appeared on over 85 recordings and has performed with a vast array of jazz greats over the years. He is committed to music education. Having received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Psychology from NYU and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University, Blue has taught at every level from pre-K to the graduate level and served as the Director of Jazz Studies at Long Island University. TK’s 2017 release, Amour, his 11th CD as a leader, was cited as one of the best jazz recordings of the year by Downbeat Magazine. His latest album, The Tide of Love, a recording of beautiful ballads and songs of romance, was released in 2023 on Arkadia Records and reached #11 on the jazz charts.

Wyatt Toure

Wyatt Toure is a third-year doctoral student at Columbia University where he works to understand the fascinating diversity of life through evolutionary biology and genomic research. His current research involves trying to understand the genetic and evolutionary processes underlying the strange biology of animal hybrids. Why do ligers, the children of male lions and female tigers, get so big? Why are mules, children of male donkeys and female horses, sterile? Through DNA sequencing he reads out the stories of genomic miscommunication in hybrid animals to try and get at the source of their incompatibilities. Outside of the lab, he is also a two-time marathoner and has an interest in storytelling, having produced short films as a Jackson Wild media fellow and a Science New Wave Symbiosis participant.

Thu, Feb 29
7:00 pm

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

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Music on the Brain: It's Not Just for the Birds
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