Jazz in Europe/European Jazz?
In August 1918, James Reese Europe and his band, known as the Harlem Hellfighters, gave a concert in Paris to an ecstatic audience. In the following months, many more Europeans in the liberated Allied regions would get a chance to hear the latest music from the United States. It marked the beginning of Europe’s century-long, complex relationship with jazz. Then, as now, Europe was far from homogenous, and consequently the way jazz was viewed differed largely between countries, within countries, and over time. Since jazz so clearly hailed from elsewhere, and because of its strong racial overtones, the music was invariably understood as something other, and consequently local European cultures all reacted.
The reception of jazz was deeply influenced by the locally different political, religious, economic, racial and ethnic situations, and the discourses that surrounded jazz fed into a variety of ideas and ideologies about local identities, high and low culture, avant-gardism, aesthetics, intellectualism, and the future of the arts.
In this course we will investigate the history of jazz in Europe, and try to think about what it means to be a jazz performer in Europe today. Students will learn about the major debates around jazz in Europe (but also elsewhere), will read key texts on jazz in Europe, and will investigate their own local scenes (i.e., a student from Greece will report on jazz in Greece). Questions that lead our investigations are: How are local repertoires different from others? Do they share a common European lineage, as some have argued? What is the relation between jazz in Europe and jazz in the US?
|teacher||Walter van de Leur|
|term||February-May 2021, Thursday 14.00-17.00|
|course requirements||Readings, other assignments, final assignment and minimum 80% attendance are mandatory (but students should aim for 100%) You must be fluent in English|
|topics||* Introduction to key concepts related to jazz in Europe|
|* Discussion of weekly reading assignments|
|* Listening to local examples collected and discussed by students|
|texts (among other things)||* Nicholson. Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address?) (2005).|
|* Cerchiari, Cugny, Kerschbaumer. Eurojazzland: Jazz and European Sources, Dynamics, and Contexts (2012)|
|* Martinelli. The History of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians and Audience in Context (2018).|
|* Whyton. Europe and the New Jazz Studies (2012)|
|* Van de Leur. ‘Introduction to Oxford History of Jazz in Europe’ (forthcoming)|
|* Additional reading may be announced in class|
|listening||Students will weekly bring an example of local music to class|
|assignments||Weekly readings, collecting and analysing music, weekly contribution of local texts collected by one of the students|
|assessment||Individual 20-minute presentation|
|notes||Reading assignments are obligatory. My classes are 100% analogue. The use of mobile phones, laptops, etc. is not permitted.|