Carnegie Mellon University

Diane Turnshek

October 28, 2021

Osher at CMU Lecture Series presents "Evocative American Music of the Fall Season" by Joe DeFazio

The fall season, with its varied colors, scents, day to day turns of weather, and rich metaphorical landscape, has inspired many composers to write evocative music.  This is particularly true of the 20th century music now known as the “great American songbook,” which encompasses the best and most durable music from Tin Pan Alley, musicals, movies, pre-rock era popular songs, and jazz. This class will examine a few fall-themed “standards.” We will listen to excerpts of great performances, and then, from a lay perspective, analyze the musical materials that tie the structures of the music to the fall-themed lyrics and to the rich, sometimes conflicting feelings of fall that we have all experienced.

Joe DeFazio is a composer, jazz pianist, and piano technician.  He was formerly coordinator of Theory and Composition at the Interlochen Arts Academy, and also taught at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at Duquesne University.  His compositions have received national broadcasts in Australia and Finland, with regional broadcasts in the Netherlands and on American public radio stations.  He has been commissioned to compose for orchestra, band, and chamber ensembles.  Turning towards jazz mid-career, he primarily performs today as a jazz pianist.  He has performed in many states, Canada, and Europe, and has been featured on compact disc recordings with vocalists and jazz ensembles.