Bossmen: Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe
American Roots Music Symposium
September 12 and 13, 2014
The American Roots Music program at Berklee College of Music is proud to announce its second symposium, Bossmen: Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe. Infused with the innovation and creativity that is focal to Berklee’s identity, this intimate event will feature scholarly presentations, lively panel discussions, experimental format sessions, and world-class performances.
The blues is the great aquifer that runs underneath all American music. This symposium will examine the life and works of blues-drenched American titans Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe in terms of their similarities and their differences. Of course, their most important similarity is that both men helped create and define particular blues-derived idioms: bluegrass, in the case of Bill Monroe, and Chicago blues, in the case of Muddy Waters.
In an effort to explore the comparison of these two individuals from multiple angles, this symposium will broach a variety of topics including the blues genre as a root of all American music styles; the musical worlds of bluegrass and Chicago blues; the intersection of black and white music in America; the power of individual personality in shaping musical style; the effect of technology on the creation and dissemination of American music; the effect of migration to big cities on rural musicians; and others relating to relevant social, cultural, historical, and musical issues.
The idea for this symposium was inspired by Jim Rooney's book Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters. We look forward to Mr. Rooney's participation in the event, and thank him for the book and the idea.