A Discourse on Brazilian Popular Music and U.S. Jazz Education

Almir Cortes Barreto, Hafez Modirzadeh


During a 2013 post-doctoral grant funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation-FAPESP to conduct research on North American jazz education, Almir Côrtes spent several hours a week at his host institution, San Francisco State University, with Hafez Modirzadeh, Professor of Jazz and Creative Music Studies. Together, they discussed and compared improvisation pedagogies between their two institutions. The following is a summary of several months of discourse, with Modirzadeh’s critical cross-cultural positions on jazz lending to Côrtes’s own research on the teaching of musical improvisation in Brazil. Among points discussed are some of the parallels and problems of institutionalizing historical contexts of practice, and popular music in particular. What follows are their own interactive perspectives – referencing causes for the current state of teaching methods, proposing potentialities for future ones that lay ahead – always with the knowledge that through consistent dialogue, shared boundaries expand.


improvisation pedagogy, Brazilian popular music, jazz education, teaching methods, discourse

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