The Rest Is Noise | America
One of the 20th-century’s dominant stories was the emergence of America as a world power – in music, culture and world politics.

The fascinating story of America finding its voice takes in the Jazz Age, the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression and the New Deal, in a heady mix of race, culture and
politics. The world would fall in love with America’s spirit and culture but this young nation had a glaring
contradiction at its heart. The tension between the democratic ideals of America as a nation and its
history of slavery would soon demand resolution.

When Dvořák predicted the emergence of an American classical tradition in 1890, he could
scarcely have foreseen the extraordinary explosion of creativity during the first half of the 20th century.

By the end of the Second World War, America was host to a wealth of musical innovators creating
radical, internationally renowned music that was completely American in spirit and could thrill and move audiences in equal measure. These innovators
were not writing classical music however – they were blues, jazz and swing musicians, and more
often than not, they were African-American.

Photos by Ben Larpent.

Listen to session from the America weekend: soundcloud.com/southbankcentre/sets/the-rest-is-noise-ame...
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