Humanities, Kuumbwa partner to jazz up Alumni Weekend

In celebration of International Jazz Day, Slugs coming home for Alumni Weekend can treat themselves to an unforgettable evening of jazz and history

Jazz singer Kim Nalley will take part in an event at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center that is part of both UC Santa Cruz's Alumni Weekend festivities and International Jazz Day. Aside from giving a performance, Nalley will take part in a conversation about jazz history.

Returning Slugs and the general public will have an immersive jazz experience that is sure to stimulate minds, move feet, and soothe souls during Alumni Weekend.

The evening kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in downtown Santa Cruz. Admission is $25.

The special event will feature a conversation on the history of jazz by experts in the field, followed by the vocal styling of jazz singer Kim Nalley, a Bay Area favorite and up-and-coming star who has performed all over the world, and is also a jazz scholar in her own right.

Alumni Weekend takes place April 28–May 1, 2016. Events are centered for the most part on campus, but some off-campus events, including this one, are likely to lure Slugs away from their alma mater, at least for a few hours.

Nalley is on faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory. She is also Ph.D. candidate in UC Berkeley's history department, with plans to write her dissertation about the globalization of jazz and black cultural politics.

Before the performance, Nalley, along with UC Santa Cruz Humanities Dean Tyler Stovall, and UC Santa Cruz history professor Eric Porter, will give a thought-provoking presentation about global jazz history as it relates to race, class and culture.

The Kuumbwa event is also part of International Jazz Day, a joyous, worldwide celebration of music that falls on the same date. In honor of this special day, Santa Cruz will be a jazz hotspot, with several venues hosting evenings of music throughout the city.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) instituted this international celebration in 2011 to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.

The UC Santa Cruz Humanities Division and the Institute for Humanities Research are co-sponsoring the Kuumbwa event.

On the same busy weekend, UC Santa Cruz alumni may take part in a multitude of Alumni Weekend events, such as a tour of the UC Santa Cruz Farm, a discussion about the way people learn, a tour of the beloved and soon-to-be refurbished Quarry Amphitheater, a highly anticipated farm-to-table lunch, and a discussion entitled “How To Clone A Mammoth” with Beth Shapiro from the UC Santa Cruz Paleogenomics Lab.