Columbia University in the City of New York

May 17, 20217:30 pm
Performance and Dialogue

Sound Waves and Brain Waves: Birdbrains and Love Songs Featuring Miguel Zenón and Vikram Gadagkar

Bringing together jazz music and science as we celebrate the way that music affects our brains and bodies.

May 17th, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Online

Watch live

In this series, we explore the intersections between jazz music and science, from how we experience sound and rhythm, to musical memories and the creative process. Join multiple Grammy nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón for an intimate online performance combined with a conversation with scientists from Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, where Zenón is currently jazz artist-in-residence.

Music isn’t the only thing that we get better at with practice. Join us as we explore how the brain changes with practice, what happens when we switch to performance, and how we use our brains to evaluate the performance of others. With live music performance.

​Miguel Zenón​ represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz.

Vikram Gadagkar is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University. After receiving his PhD in physics studying exotic states of matter at Cornell University, he transitioned to neuroscience as a postdoc. For his postdoctoral work, also at Cornell, he discovered that dopamine neurons encode song performance in singing birds. The Gadagkar laboratory studies songbirds to understand how the brain gets better with practice, how it switches from practice to performance, and how it evaluates the performance of others.

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Sound Waves and Brain Waves is a collaboration between Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute.

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