A Conversation with the Blues

The blues has influenced everything that has come after it. How and why?

4 Sections
4 Sections

The blues is one of America's great inventions. In this series we explore the roots of the blues and how its spirit, structure, harmonies, and melodies have influenced the music that grew out of it. By the end you'll have an understanding of how you can use the blues musical forms in your own improvisations and compositions. 

Join Princeton musical director Vince di Mura, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, and a host of other musicians in this conversational series about the blues and its musical legacy. 

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Vince Di Mura

Musical Director, Princeton University

Vince is a veteran jazz pianist, composer, arranger and musical director; appearing on concert stages and theatres throughout North America, Canada, and Latin America. He currently serves as the Resident Composer and Musical Director for the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University.

More About Vince
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Course Outline

  1. Section 1


  2. Section 2

    The Origins of the Blues

  3. Section 3

    Blues, Rock, and R&B

  4. Section 4

    Blues, Jazz, and Improvisation


Who is this course for? 

It's really for anyone interested in learning more about the blues. We do assume some prior knowledge, such as a basic familiarity with chords, but it's not necessarily. For more advanced musicians, you'll be able to pick up different approaches to adapting the blues for your own purposes.  

What will I get out of it? 

You'll come out of this course with a better understanding of how the elements of the blues have morphed and transformed over time and hopefully inspired to create your own blues-influenced works of music. It also includes backing tracks that you can use to jam along to!