Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion

April 09, 2018

On April 9, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing invited Assistant Professor Kevin Fellezs from Columbia University's Department of Music to introduce his recent book: Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion.

The Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion emphasizes on fusion music, which was astonishingly popular in the U.S in the 60s and 70s, the sophisticated style of which cannot be cataloged in any existing genre. Musicians would combine diverse music and culture traditions in order to break the boundaries in music style, cultural hierarchy, and conceived values.

Professor Yan Liu, who is the Associate Professor at Department of Musicology, Tianjing Conservatory of Music, joined us and discussed her intention of translating Bird of Fire. “With limited research and publications, there is an obvious deficiency in Chinese pop musicology education system, while pop song is a major part of modern life. I sincerely wish that this book can be an initial incentive, stimulating new perspectives and theories in Chinese pop musicology studies,” said Professor Liu.

Ms. Yuan Yu, who serves as the Director of Editorial Department and Associate Professor of Editorship at Central Conservatory of Music Press, also shared her opinion: “The Bird of Fire not only presents us with the phenomenon where fusion music bloomed in the 60s and 70s, but also provides us with a general academic perspective in both history and culture, which is of enlightening significance in pop music researches.”

Professor Fellezs explained the definition, key features, and the development of fusion music. He mentioned that his passion for music is from his father, who loved jazz and rock music as much as he did. “I accidentally found the disparity that rock musicians usually like fusion, while jazz musicians often regard fusion music as ‘not-real jazz,’” said Professor Fellezs. “How can fusion music cause such a controversy? The curiosity in such questions is the motivation drives me to write this thesis about Fusion.”

Following the public lecture, the CAA Beijing Alumni Volunteer Meeting was hosted. Mr. Kevin Li, President of CAA Beijing, took a lead on the discussion on the future development of alumni activities.