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Between 1933 and 1942, Alan Lomax and his father, the folklorist John A. Lomax, developed the Library of Congress' Archive of American Folksong into a major repository of traditional music. Many of the early recordings in the Center are the products of their celebrated field trips to document folk music and oral history across much of the United States and the Caribbean. Legendary performers such as Lead Belly, Aunt Molly Jackson, Muddy Waters, and Woody Guthrie made their first recordings with Lomax.
Over the course of the next six decades, Alan Lomax expanded the scope of his work to include ethnomusicological and anthropological research and teaching, book publishing for scholarly and popular audiences, and commercial record, radio and film production. Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Burl Ives, and Pete Seeger were first heard by national audiences on Lomax's radio programs in the '30s and '40s. His classic "singing" biography of New Orleans jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton, recorded in 1938 at the Library of Congress, formed the basis for his book Mister Jelly Roll (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949). American Patchwork, his prize-winning five-hour television series on American regional cultures, aired on PBS in 1990. In the late 1980's and early 1990's, he began work on a multimedia, interactive database called "The Global Jukebox," which surveys the relationship between dance, song, and human history. Alan Lomax was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 1986, a Library of Congress Living Legend award in 2000, an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Tulane in 2001, and a Grammy in 2002 for his life-long contributions to music.
To the end of his life, Alan Lomax continued to advocate and practice the principle of "cultural equity," in order to make a place in the media and in schools for the expressive arts and aesthetic values of local cultures worldwide. To learn how ACE, the Alan Lomax Database and the Alan Lomax Archive carry on his work today visit http://www.alan-lomax.com/.
Attending the symposium
Admission to the symposium and related events is free, but seating is limited. Reservations for attendance will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit: two seats per person.
Our guests may find the following link to information about accommodations, area restaurants, and other amenities helpful in planning their visit to the Library: http://www.loc.gov/loc/visit/travel.html
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