Presentation 1 - From Bossa Nova to Bebop and Beyond: The Influence of Brazilian and American Popular Music on Each Other

This presentation will explore the influence of Brazilian popular music on American popular music and the reciprocal influence of American popular music on Brazilian popular music. It will discuss important musical figures from both cultures, including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Stan Getz, Chico Barque, Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Legião Urbano, Billy Joel, and Frank Sinatra. This presentation will incorporate a slide show and recorded musical examples.

This presentation is highly modular and can be as short as 30 minutes and as long as 60 or 90 minutes. Audience members can ask questions along the way or at the end, and Mark can adjust the presentation to accommodate audience members’ interests.

Visit mtonalmusic.com for more information, videos, photos, etc

Program Topics

  • Popular Music
  • Brazil
  • United States

Book this presentation by first scheduling a date with Mark via email or phone at 845.667.6807, then completing the Road Scholars Host Organization application.


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Presentation 2 - Jazz: America's Own Indigenous Art Form

This presentation will explore America’s own indigenous art form, jazz, which was born here in the United States and continues to thrive today. It will discuss important musical figures, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis. It will help people understand what they are hearing and deepen their appreciation and enjoyment of jazz. This presentation will include a slide show and musical examples.

This presentation is highly modular and can be as short as 30 minutes and as long as 60 or 90 minutes. Audience members can ask questions along the way or at the end, and Mark can adjust the presentation to accommodate audience members’ interests.

Visit mtonalmusic.com for more information, videos, photos, etc

Program Topics

  • Jazz Music
  • History
  • Illinois

Book this presentation by first scheduling a date with Mark via email or phone at 845.667.6807, then completing the Road Scholars Host Organization application.


Back to the 2021 – 2022 Road Scholar Roster

About Road Scholar Mark Tonelli

Dr. Mark Tonelli is assistant professor of music at Millikin University, where he coordinates the guitar program, teaches courses in jazz studies, and is a Coleman Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow. Dr. Tonelli has had a twenty-year career as a professional jazz musician. Before arriving in Illinois, for ten years , he was the guitarist in the U.S. Army’s Jazz Knights at West Point, NY, one of the military’s “Premier Bands.” He had residencies in three major music hubs– New York, Dallas, and Kansas City. He has toured the country with his own group, releasing three critically-claimed recordings of his original music on the MTonal Music label. Dr. Tonelli has been privileged to perform with many well-known jazz musicians. He has made presentations on jazz and the arts at many conferences, universities, and cultural institutions across the U.S.

Learn More and Follow Mark

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About Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau

Since 1997, our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has invited Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state. It also supports local nonprofit organizations – including libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, civic groups, and many others – in presenting free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest application fee, which can be waived if your organization is experiencing financial hardship.

Our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster features speakers hailing from many different communities across Illinois who offer presentations on topics in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, theater, film, music, politics, and other subjects that are thought-provoking and engaging. The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.

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