Pianist, composer, poet, philosopher Cecil Taylor turned sound outside in, gathering influences far and wide, reassembling them into the ever-changing grammars that defined his career and inspired others.
is Professor of History and History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz. His research and teaching interests include Black cultural and intellectual history, US cultural history, jazz and improvisation studies, urban studies, and critical race and ethnic studies. He is the author of What Is This Thing Called Jazz? African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists (University of California Press, 2002), winner of an American Book Award; The Problem of the Future World: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Race Concept at Midcentury (Duke University Press, 2010); and, with the photographer Lewis Watts, New Orleans Suite: Music and Culture in Transition (University of California Press, 2013). He is currently writing a monograph on the development of San Francisco International Airport and collaborating with Daniel Fischlin on a multi-volume series examining improvised music across global and transcultural contexts.