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English professor pens book on jazz

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Dr. Jürgen E. Grandt has combined his life's work and hobby in a new book, "Gettin' Around: Jazz, Script, Transnationalism." Grandt, associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia, said his fourth book tries to explain the paradox in jazz music.

As a literature professor, jazz lover, and tenor saxophonist, Dr. Jürgen E. Grandt has combined his life's work and hobby in a new book. "Gettin' Around: Jazz, Script, Transnationalism," published by University of Georgia Press, is a story of jazz as it has made its way around the planet.

Grandt, associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia, said his fourth book tries to explain the paradox in jazz music.

"On one hand, jazz music is indisputably of African-American origins. It's a music that is inextricably connected to the black experience in the New World," said Grandt, a native of Switzerland. "On the other hand, jazz music was 'world music' from the very beginning, long before we had a term for it."

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Dr. Jürgen Grandt, associate professor of English at the University of North Georgia, a new book titled "Gettin' Around: Jazz, Script, Transnationalism."

Helping Grandt articulate many of the ideas in the book were two dozen musicians, including Jürg Wickihalder, a well-known European saxophonist, composer, and recording artist who graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

"It was like he could almost see inside my head and was writing the book for me," Grandt said

The most important point is, the book is about listening, he said.

"Everybody has a story to tell, but my story can only be heard if someone listens," Grandt said. "And jazz music comes with an ethical responsibility: even while I’m telling my own story, I am also responsible for ensuring that the others get to tell theirs as well."

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