Lee Caplan Explores Jazz Performance and Burkean Aesthetics

Jazz Studies graduate student Lee Caplan has been busy presenting and refining his recent research in his paper “Jazz Aesthetics: The Burkean Sublime and Performative Theology." In the paper he applies Edmund Burke's aesthetic system to jazz historiography, discourse, and various recordings. He then seeks to understand how a jazz musician's improvising body semiotically operates in creating a type of racialized theological/supernatural performance.

Caplan has received multiple invitations to present his research, providing him with invaluable feedback and opportunities to hone his arguments. He presented the paper on September 27 at the University of Kansas for the Midwestern Research Collective and will present an expanded version on October 12 at Cal State, Long Beach for a meeting of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society. In addition, Caplan presented a poster session on this topic at the American Musicological Society Capital Chapter Fall 2019 meeting.

Along with his work on jazz performance and Burkean aesthetics, Caplan contributed a review of Katherine Baber’s Leonard Bernstein and the Language of Jazz for the Journal of the Society for American Music. The publication of his review is expected in a forthcoming issue of JSAM

Congratulations to Lee on these exciting contributions to the field of jazz scholarship!