Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music


Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.0 X 9.2 inches | 1.35 pounds
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About the Author

Alexandra T. Vazquez is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English at Princeton University.


"Reading Listening in Detail is a very enjoyable experience. ... All in in all it is a unique and valuable addition to the growing volume of literature on Cuban music, written with passion and love, and should be read not only with open ears as the title suggests, but with an open mind and heart as well."--Moshe Morad "EIAL "
"Listening in Detail inhabits the socioaesthetic field of Cuban music, where study and performance animate one another. Aware that understanding requires immersion--in and against the grain of whatever accident or choice of birth/exile, vocation/profession--Alexandra T. Vazquez is an initiate, as we all should hope to be, in the inexplicable mystery of sound, and because she is open to the music's inscription, her detailed listening, her repeated play, cuts its own groove. Rigorously, lyrically, Vazquez delights and instructs, shows and proves, studies and performs."--Fred Moten, author of B Jenkins
"Listening in Detail is a singular and beautifully written account of Cuban music in the twentieth century. It is a simultaneously gentle and fierce rejoinder to the legacy of works that attempt to 'know' Cuban music, to pin it down for ethnographic examination or touristic consumption, to romanticize it and remove it from its contexts in everyday life. This is a passionate, hugely important work."--Gayle Wald, author of Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe
"It is Vazquez's emphasis on the importance of details that draws out seemingly peripheral contacts and relationships, and draws out stories from them that position them at the centre of global transactions of racialised, imperial identities."--Daniel Whittall "Latin American Review of Books "
"With its imaginative, beautiful prose and broad themes of post-colonialism, race, feminism, and the production of knowledge, Listening in Detail would be an edifying read for most, although Cuba and Cuban music specialists stand the most to gain."--Teresa Sanchez "Ethnomusicology Review "
"Vazquez's work is required reading not only for Cuban music scholars, but in particular those working in fields traversing African American and American studies. Students and scholars of many disciplines whose topical and methodological interests take them to Cuban music performance or music in general will draw much inspiration from Listening in Detail."--David F. Garcia "American Studies "
"I listen now with refreshed ears and hope, for hope is what I find myself left with after I finish the book--hope for the capacity of human beings to create beauty."--Alejandra Bronfman"Small Axe" (03/01/2016)
"Listening in Detail is a necessary book for those who work within the disciplines of performance studies, musicology, sound studies, postcolonial studies and critical race studies. Because of its methodological framework and its unique exploration of inscription and fugitivity, the book will also be of particular use to those who research at the nexus of cultural studies and media theory."-- (07/01/2015)
"Polish your Cuban heels, and think outside the Victrola: Listening in Detail assembles the playlist of our dreams. Harlem, Havana, and New Orleans; Nancy Cunard and La Lupe; Graciela; anthologies, performances, jazz, and Cuban son. Roaming exiles will debunk all blockades, so let the entanglement of empires surrender to the grunt. This is a stunning book. It will keep you listening even when the music is over. If it ever, actually, is."--Josรฉ Quiroga, author of Cuban Palimpsests
"[A]n outstanding book that invites us, through its own example, to linger with the sounds, images, andprinted words that make up (and are made up by) the many remarkable performers appearing and resonating in its pages. Vazquez offers critical and personal responses to what Cuba and music, in their articulation, signify, and the experience (a keyword in her method) becomes, for us, that fine arrangement of pleasure in, and of, critique, where reading a book turns into us cheering it on, often aloud."--Antonio Lรณpez "Journal of Popular Music Studies "
"Vazquez's explorations of listening as a critical act are intimately tied to the rich heterogeneity of texts that she embraces in the book. Having grappled in my own scholarship with the complexities, limitations, and potentialities of 'listening' as a metaphor for engaging in the study of Latino popular music, I have found Professor Vazquez's incursions into 'listening' to be both invigorating and expanding."-- (10/01/2015)
"Vazquez's methodology is inspirational for scholars interested in music-making and consumption in Cuba today during this period of change in economic and cultural policy. Moreover, Vazquez's determination to acknowledge an object of study as unpredictable and unstable, as well as her commitment to seeing beyond domestic-diaspora and black-white binaries, make the book important for performance studies." -- (09/01/2015)
"For Vazquez, listening in detail is a transformative experience, enabling an interweaving of writing and music. She wrote the book while listening to music, and reading her work in detail is unquestionably a sonic experience as well; her colorful writing encourages the reader to listen not only to the poetic style of her prose, but to the music that accompanies it."-- (06/01/2016)
"Listening in Detail stands alone in its discussion of the important music of greater Cuba. . . . Thoroughly researched and featuring fine literary references, this is a rich resource for advanced students and scholars of music and Cuban studies."--L. E. Shaw "Choice "