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Jazz and Baha'i History: Historical Synchronicity

Discussion in 'Historical Events & Figures' started by RonPrice, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. RonPrice

    RonPrice Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Likes Received:
    George Town Tasmania Australia

    While the Baha’i Faith was evolving, according to Horace Holley in a letter he wrote in 1944, from a small, informal network of groups "to a national unit of a global society"(1) the jazz age began to flourish. The greatest bands, both black and white, and the greatest musicians arrived on the scene in the 1920s: Benny Goodman, Jean Goldket, Louis Armstrong, Bix Biderbeck, Bessie Smith, Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington were all part of an age that put pleasure before everything. They introduced society to a world of new sounds and a new spirit. It was also the age, the period of time, when Shoghi Effendi began to build the Administrative Order, an order which had been established in theory in the writings of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha. It was an age of swing, of radio and segregation. -Ron Price with thanks to Loni Bramson-Lerche," Some Aspects of the Development of the Baha’i Administrative Order in America: 1922-1936," Studies in Baha'i and Baha’i History, Vol.1, Kalimat Press, 1982, pp.255-257; and "Jazz: Our Language," ABC TV 9:30-10:30 pm, 13 December 2001.

    By the time The Duke was playing

    Jungle Music at the Cotton Club,

    Benny Goodman was feeding his family

    with his clarinet and Louis Armstrong

    was developing the swing,

    a modern-time music of improvisation……

    At the same time

    Shoghi Effendi was spearheading

    a loosely connected movement

    into a fully organized one

    through the mechanism

    of the Assembly, a word,

    that had finally arrived in the lexicon

    and a tool of the Covenant.1

    When jazz finally went live

    on CBS Radio in 1927

    with Duke Ellington

    at the Cotton Club,

    the epithets ‘modern’ and ‘new’

    seemed the passport

    to a luminous future2

    and a new Order was developing

    the framework for

    international teaching programs

    that would take a new Faith

    around the world.3

    1 This was done by 1925, ibid., p.258. 2 Rob Stout, "Dancing in the Dark," The Weekend Australian, February 10th, 2001. 3 1937

    Ron Price

    14 December 2001

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