Avant Garde Coffeehouse Workshop
Avant Garde - 211 N. Prospect
Music 280 LEC 007, #47231, 2 Credits
Music 680 LEC 015, #47232, 2 Credits
Spring 2013, January 22 - May 9
Kenilworth Square East 640
From 1962 to 1968, the Avant Garde Coffeehouse was the locus of the folk/blues revival in Wisconsin. There were places like this in other geographic areas, but, in Wisconsin, none as important as the Avant Garde. It presented local performers and nationally-known folk and blues artists, poetry readings, and experimental and underground films. This class is being offered as part of the celebration to mark the coincidence of the 50th anniversaries of both the Avant Garde Coffeehouse and the Peck School of the Arts.
The course offers a vast collection of media that have been aggregated through research and cooperation with some of the key figures associated with the Avant Garde Coffeehouse, including unreleased 16mm film, photographs, and audio recordings made at the Garde. These recordings feature performances by Skip James, Rev. Gary Davis, Koerner, Ray & Glover, Big Joe Williams, the New Lost City Ramblers, Sleepy John Estes, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Magic Sam.
We will review the rich history of fretted instrument music, music publishing and Paramount Records in Wisconsin, the role of the Avant Garde Coffeehouse in the folk/blues revival, and its contribution to culture in Milwaukee.
Since UWM is the only university in the world that offers BFA and MM degrees in Finger-Style Guitar Performance, it is fitting that we explore the history of fretted instrument music in this region. Understanding the role of the Avant Garde Coffeehouse in the folk/blues revival is an important part of understanding the emergence of finger-style guitar as art music.
This class will be taught by John Stropes, Director of Guitar Studies, with assistance from graduate researcher, Josh Lane, who has been closely involved in the research project since its beginning stages in 2010. For those who play guitar, a special optional guitar lab will be scheduled to study transcriptions of some of the classic finger-style guitar compositions that were performed at the Avant Garde Coffeehouse.
Listen to an excerpt from a performance by Dave Ray recorded live at the Avant Garde Coffeehouse in 1964 by Jim Barker, from the collection of Jim Charne.
"Down to Louisiana"
Finger-Style Guitar at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
As the only college-level program in finger-style guitar in the world, we have the opportunity to explore the history and pedagogy of finger-style guitar, push forward standards of scholarship, experiment with new approaches, and bring new technologies to bear on this quest. Our new laboratory for the digital conversion and analysis of historic and contemporary media is a center for groundbreaking research. To view live performances of current and former UWM finger-style guitar students, go to our YouTube channel. To check out the latest program news and events, find us on Facebook.
- If you are currently enrolled at UWM, you may register for this class on PAWS.
- Those 60 and over may audit the class for free on a space-available basis. For information on admission and registration, call the Registrar's Office at 414-229-6571.
- You may enroll in this class as a noncredit workshop ($150 fee) online or by calling the Peck School of the Arts Box Office at 414-229-4308, Monday-Friday, 12-4pm.
For more information, contact John Stropes, 262-994-8710, email@example.com.