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Award-Winning Music Historian & Smithsonian Curator Emeritus
One of America’s foremost music historian-educators, Dr. John Edward Hasse helps audiences understand the power music to move and inspire us to greater heights. Read More >
Hasse is a museum curator, author, speaker, and leader in his field. During his 33-year tenure at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Curator Emeritus John Edward Hasse developed exhibitions on Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles. He founded the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, now celebrating its 31st anniversary, and international Jazz Appreciation Month, which is celebrated in all 50 states and 40 other countries.
His books include an acclaimed biography, Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, with a Foreword by Wynton Marsalis, and Jazz: The First Century, with Forewords by Quincy Jones and Tony Bennett. As an expert on 20th century music, he is a contributor to The Washington Post and eight encyclopedias and has written 50 articles on music for The Wall Street Journal.
His media appearances include CNN, CBS, PBS, BBC, NPR, and several documentary movies. He is the recipient of two Grammy Award nominations and two ASCAP awards for excellence in writing on music.
He earned a B.A. Cum Laude from Carleton College, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Indiana University, a Certificate in Business Administration from The Wharton School, and two Honorary Doctorates.
Active in cultural diplomacy for the U.S. State Department, Hasse has lectured on leadership, the arts, and music in 25 countries. Read Less ^
Leadership Lessons from the Jazz Masters Trailer
Collaborate Creatively to Make Beautiful Music Together
Why We Need the Arts More Than Ever
7 Lessons from Music about Collaboration
Collaborating by Putting Ego Aside
In today's swiftly changing business environment, success is captured by the masters of innovation: those who find creative ways to lead, address challenges, and sprint to the head of the pack. The lives of the great jazz masters are rich with lessons that can teach us how. Read More >
Because improvisation is the heart and soul of their art, jazz musicians are among the most consistently creative professionals of our time. In improvising their music night after night on the bandstand, they take calculated risks to produce creative results. And the musicians must be ever-resilient in the moment and over time: this music's history has been about inventing and accommodating rapid change.
In a well-illustrated presentation, Smithsonian curator, author, jazz pianist, and NPR commentator John Edward Hasse shares secrets from the lives of jazz masters that can inspire and benefit people in business.
You will learn: Read Less ^
"To say 'None of us is as smart as all of us' underscores the key role collaboration can play in achieving success. Music is a field where creative collaboration has produced one brilliant result after another. Creating 'music' together can spur innovative ideas among diverse teams and individuals, and teach the skills necessary to succeed—creativity, teamwork, accountability, and problem-solving. In this presentation, Dr. John Edward Hasse, Curator Emeritus of Music at the Smithsonian Institution, reveals the secrets of successful collaboration in five key lessons drawn from music: Listen closely, Trust, Tune up, Harmonize, and be sure to Jam and Riff. Using examples ranging from George Gershwin to Duke Ellington, from the Beatles to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Dr. Hasse looks at how these artists worked as teams to negotiate their creative differences and to spark new ideas. This fresh, inspiring presentation is a must-see, illustrated with video clips and live demonstrations at the piano."
Imagine a world with no art. No movies, no plays, no theater, no poetry, no novels, and no music. So difficult is it to imagine a world bereft of art, it's nearly inconceivable. That's because the arts give so much meaning to our lives. As clean air and water are to the human body, art is to the human spirit. Art feeds our souls, expresses our creativity, stimulates our imaginations, and inspires us to reach for excellence. Read More >
In this stimulating presentation, Dr. John Edward Hasse of the Smithsonian Institution lays out an invigorating and compelling case for why, more than ever before, we need the arts in our lives. For example: the arts embody the human imagination, record human achievement, and, along with language and higher reasoning, distinguish us as a species from the rest of the animal kingdom. We humans form communities and cultures by making art: poems and paintings, drama and dance, sculpture, stories, and songs. The arts form links from people to people, culture to culture, and age to age. And, if the arts are vital to the lives of adults, they are especially critical in teaching our children.
Dr. Hasse offers an emotionally engaging, wonderfully dynamic presentation that includes: Read Less ^
"The weekend couldn't have gone better. He surpassed expectations. What a wonderful human being--so gracious and supportive of everything we are doing. In addition to the other keynote speakers’ addresses, Dr. Hasse attended the Saturday evening's activities as well. I'm so glad he was able to offer such a great presentation to us."
"I want you to know how innovative I thought his presentation was. As one of the secretaries typed a brief summary of the meeting for my distribution to students, she commented to me about how impressive his session must have been. Even mere word descriptions about his performance excite people! He shared his talents with us and was such a gracious presenter. If his presentation had been recorded, I would use it in my graduate education classes as an example of Master Teacher!"
"His presentation was both insightful and thought provoking as he related his experiences from being a jazz master who has had to improvise or take calculated risks to produce positive results. The method in which he related his experiences to the medical profession was exemplary. The audience greatly enjoyed his presentation as well as his jazz performances on the piano."
"John Edward Hasse was instrumental in making our annual meeting one of the most positive and upbeat in recent memory. His ability to engage a very senior level executive audience with a message that resonated with them in a unique and enjoyable way energized our audience. John’s presentation was key to setting the tone for the meeting."
"The buzz about his presentation is palpable. We greatly appreciate the significant contribution to the meeting and the power of his lesson for us."
"It was a pleasure to meet you and hear your delightful and substantive presentation at the Institute 100 event. You did a wonderful job, and the feedback has been terrific. We received many glowing comments on both your talents as a pianist and speaker. Your creative approach to leadership had a wide appeal and made a great impact on our audience."
"It was an extreme pleasure to work with Dr. John Edward Hasse for our recent American Academy of Nursing Annual Meeting and Conference. Our attendees continue to rave about his keynote presentation, setting a tone that made it one of the best in 30 years. Dr. Hasse’s patience, kindness, knowledge and ability to relate to our attendees justify why his presence at your event will be a complete success. He is a dynamic speaker that motivates attendees and encourages them to think outside of the box."
Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington
Jazz: The First Century (editor)
Ragtime: Its History, Composers, and Music (editor)
DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Made in Washington, DC (chapter)
Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: The Apollo Theater and American Entertainment (chapters)
Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (co-producer, co-author)
The Classic Hoagy Carmichael (producer, author)
Beyond Category: The Musical Genius of Duke Ellington
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