Daphne Brooks

“‘See My Face On the Other Side’: Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Art of Catching Up with Geeshie & Elvie”
Jan 26, 2021 at - | Virtual Event

Daphne Brooks

Director of Graduate Studies; William R. Kenan, Jr. Prof of African American Studies, and Prof. of Theater Stds, American Stds, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Stds

"‘See My Face On the Other Side’: Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Art of Catching Up with Geeshie & Elvie"

This talk travels from the contemporary jazz world of genius vocalist and songwriter Cecile McLorin Salvant, and it moves across the terrain of her cover of one of Jelly Roll Morton’s most infamous recordings all the way back into the Paramount Records 1930 recording studio where two women blues musicians worked out intricate guitar duets with one another over the course of no more than a couple of days at best. The talk traces the ways in which Salvant’s profound virtuosity as an improviser, a storyteller, an actor, and above all else, a sound archivist, enables us to hear anew the dense and vibrant lifeworlds of African American women navigating ways to affirm the fact that their lives matter in the face of Jim Crow tyranny.


Daphne A. Brooks is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale University. She is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent:  Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Durham, NC: Duke UP), winner of The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR, and Jeff Buckley’s Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005).  Brooks is currently working on a three-volume study of Black women and popular music culture entitled Subterranean Blues: Black Women Sound Modernity. The first volume in the trilogy, Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound, is due to be published by Harvard University Press in February 2021. (Full bio here)



This event is part of the Department of Music’s main Colloquium Series, which showcases new research by leading scholars in music and sound studies and composers both in the United States and internationally.  

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020-2021 Penn Music Colloquium Series will be held virtually until further notice.  All Music Colloquia will take place using Zoom on Tuesdays at 5:15 PM. Registration through Eventbrite is required to receive a meeting link.