George Lewis Interview

George Lewis (cropped version)

Source: George Lewis.

During this year’s Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California (June 8-11), I met up with George Lewis, the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, to discuss his opera “Afterword,” which received its West Coast premiere at the festival on June 9. The theme of this year’s Ojai Music Festival, directed by Vijay Iyer, was community and empathy, and special attention was given to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a collective of African-American musicians founded on the South Side of Chicago in 1965. Many of the festival’s featured artists and composers had either participated in or been influenced by the AACM, which—as a collective of musicians transcending genre boundaries—served as a model for the type of community envisioned by Iyer.