Music and Dance's Fumi Tomita Releases New Book on Early Jazz with SUNY Press
On Feb. 1, State University of New York Press released the latest book by Associate Professor of Jazz Performance and Pedagogy Fumi Tomita, entitled "Early Jazz: A Concise Introduction from its Roots Through 1929." The new book, the first to focus exclusively on this topic in over fifty years, traces the origins of jazz music from its nineteenth-century roots through the end of the Jazz Age and the early beginnings of the Swing Era.
Tomita examines not only the influence of well-known pioneers like Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, and Lovie Austin, but also the contributions of lesser-known sidemen and entertainers to the development of the genre. Designed to be accessible to all levels of musicians, scholars, and fans, the book also includes analyses of 20 songs that were critical to the emergence of jazz as a fully-realized art form in the 20th century.
Tomita is also the author of The Jazz Rhythm Section: A Manual for Band Directors (Rowman & Littlefield in conjunction with NAfME, 2019) and of articles in Bass World, Jazz Perspectives, and the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Journal. He has presented his research at the International Society of Bassists Conference, Issues in Contemporary Jazz, Jazz Education Network, International Society for Improvised Music, and the National Association for Music Education. His 2019 recording, The Elephant Vanishes: Jazz Interpretations of the Short Stories of Haruki Murakami (Origin Arts Records) was listed in the top ten records of 2019 by Jazziz.