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2021.12.15 Mark Laver Composer Spotlight: Music of Phil Nimmons


December 16, 2021

Event Type

Composer Spotlight

Daniel Jamieson

Event Type Description

Composer Spotlights feature a Presenting Artist outlining compositional concepts contained within their own work by examining score & audio excerpts.


Days of Sail to the Atlantic Suite: Drama, Narrative, and Form in Phil Nimmons’s Large Works

About the Presenting Artists(s)

Saxophonist and ethnomusicologist Mark Laver is an Associate Professor of Music at Grinnell College, where he directs the jazz band and teaches classes on jazz and popular music. As a performer, Dr. Laver has shared the stage with such leading jazz and improvising artists as Lee Konitz, William Parker, NEXUS, Kurt Elling, Nicole Mitchell, Antonio Sanchez, and Phil Nimmons. Dr. Laver’s current research is a biography of iconic Canadian clarinetist, composer, and educator Phil Nimmons. His first book, Jazz Sells: Music, Marketing, and Meaning (Routledge 2015), explores the use of jazz music in advertising, marketing, and branding. His second book project was a collection of essays, co-edited with Dr. Ajay Heble, called Improvisation and Music Education: Beyond the Classroom (Routledge 2016). His academic articles have appeared in Jazz Perspectives, Black Music Research Journal, Popular Music and Society, Popular Music, and Critical Studies in Improvisation. His work has been featured or profiled in The Washington Post, The Des Moines Register, Salon, Fortune, Times for Higher Education, TEDx Grinnell, USA Today College, BBC Radio 3, and Dr. Laver is a Research Associate with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation. He completed his PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto in 2011.

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