Cascading Popup Menus: Single Frame Demonstration

A b o u t   P a u l   A u s t e r l i t z

Reed player, composer, and ethnomusicologist Paul Austerlitz combines his background as an ethnomusicologist specializing in Afro-Caribbean music with his creative work as a jazz musician. As an instrumentalist, Austerlitz has dedicated himself to mastering the bass and contrabass clarinets. He also plays Bb (soprano) clarinet and tenor saxophone. As a composer, Austerlitz weds his backgrounds in jazz and ethnomusicology, producing works that incorporate the musics that he researches. He has been especially active in blending Latin and Caribbean music from the Dominican Republic and elsewhere with free forms of jazz.

Austerlitz has worked with musicians such as Doc Cheatham, Julius Hemphill, Dave Murray, Don Byron, Roswell Rudd, Jimmy Knepper, Ed Blackwell, Gunter Hampel, the poet Michael Harper, the Haitian Vodun-jazz group Fula, and the African jazz group of Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng. Austerlitz's CD A Bass Clarinet in Santo Domingo and Detroit (X-DOT 25) presents original compositions and arrangements blending Afro-Caribbean and freely improvised idioms with sundry influences such as Indian classical music and the didgeridoo. Recorded with Caribbean and North American musicians in the Dominican Republic and Detroit, it features the brilliant Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Austerlitz's CD Dominican Dreams, American Dreams (Engine Studios) features a fusion of traditional Afro-Dominican rhythms (such as merengue and pri-prí) with jazz. It also includes a wah-wah bass clarinet version of the Star Spangled Banner. His CDs entitled Double-Take (innova) and Our Book on Trane: The Yaddo Sessions are collaborations with the acclaimed poet Michael Harper, presenting Harper's poems in conversation with improvisational flights on the bass clarinet.

Austerlitz studied music with Bill Dixon, Milford Graves, Dave Liebman and Frank Wess and received the Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in 1993. His work as an ethnomusicologist includes the books Jazz Consciousness: Music, Race, and Humanity (forthcoming in 2005, Wesleyan University Press) and Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity (1997, Temple University Press).