Fall 2023 Book Launch!

Panel discussion:
Music and Myth in Las Vegas

On November 17, the Shaw Center hosts authors featured in the upcoming book titled The Possibility Machine: Music and Myth in Las Vegas (University of Illinois Press). This collection of essays examines how music-making and soundscapes shape our city. Treating topics ranging from Cher to Cirque du Soleil, the contributors delve into how music and musicians factored in the early development of Vegas’s image; the role of local communities of musicians and Strip mainstays in sustaining tensions between belief and disbelief; the ways aging showroom stars provide a sense of timelessness that inoculates visitors against the outside world; the link connecting fantasies of sexual prowess and democracy with the musical values of Liberace and others; and the echoes and energy generated by the idea of Las Vegas as it travels across the country.

November 17, 2023
5:00 p.m.
Harmon Auxiliary Building, UNLV,
Room 110
1325 E. Harmon Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Free and open to the public.
Parking free in front of H.A.B.

Announcing our 2022–2023 Lecture Series

The Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center at UNLV is excited to announce our 2022–2023 lecture series. This season, we are joined by four well-known scholars and musical practitioners from around the United States. They will share with us their research on jazz, blues, film music, and Japanese popular music. Their work draws broadly on multiple disciplines, including African American Studies, Asian Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and more.

All lectures take place on Wednesdays at 5:30 in the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building (HFA), room 147. They are free and open to the public.

Our first event is on October 12, 2022. We will be joined by Damani Phillips, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Iowa, who will give a talk titled “Lost Soul: Issues in Teaching Ethnically Derived Arts in Academia.” Exploring the topic of what has happened as a result of the academic embrace of jazz within schools of departments of music, his lecture will engage questions of race, appropriation, cultural transformation, and cultural displacement.

Our subsequent events will be held on October 26, February 1, and March 1. Visit https://asc.unlv.edu/ for further details.

We hope to see you at our lectures this season!

Arnold Shaw Popular Music Center publishes Spilka Recorded Jazz Archive

We proudly announce the publication of an archive prepared by Bill Spilka between the 1970s and the 1990s of recorded jazz interviews, masterclasses, and performances. This archive contains one-of-a-kind items related to over ninety jazz artists, including Benny Goodman, Harry Goodman, Stan Kenton, Lester Young and many others. Mr. Spilka was often backstage at venues such as Rockefeller Center or New York’s Roseland Ballroom, catching conversations with musicians when they took breaks during their live sets.

Interviews are streamable from our website, while performances and masterclasses can be listened to by patron request.

Visit the collection at this link.

Snapshots of just a few of the artists in this collection.