1st Edition

Jazz Diaspora Music and Globalisation

By Bruce Johnson Copyright 2020
    218 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    218 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Jazz Diaspora: Music and Globalisation is about the international diaspora of jazz, well underway within a year of the first jazz recordings in 1917. This book studies the processes of the global jazz diaspora and its implications for jazz historiography in general, arguing for its relevance to the fields of sonic studies and cognitive theory. Until the late twentieth century, the historiography and analysis of jazz were centred on the US to the almost complete exclusion of any other region. The driving premise of this book is that jazz was not ‘invented’ and then exported: it was invented in the process of being disseminated.

    Jazz Diaspora is a sustained argument for an alternative historiography, based on a shift from a US-centric to a diasporic perspective on the music. The rationale is double-edged. It appears that most of the world’s jazz is experienced (performed and consumed) in diasporic sites – that is, outside its agreed geographical point of origin – and to ignore diasporic jazz is thus to ignore most jazz activity. It is also widely felt that the balance has shifted, as jazz in its homeland has become increasingly conservative.

    There has been an assumption that only the ‘authentic’ version of the music--as represented in its country of origin--was of aesthetic and historical interest in the jazz narrative; that the forms that emerged in other countries were simply rather pallid and enervated echoes of the ‘real thing’. This has been accompanied by challenges to the criterion of place- and race-based authenticity as a way of assessing the value of popular music forms in general. As the prototype for the globalisation of popular music, diasporic jazz provides a richly instructive template for the study of the history of modernity as played out musically.

    PART 1, First Eight: Global Jazz Diaspora

    Chapter 1 Global Jazz Diaspora: A Chronicle

    PART 2, Second Eight: Products of the Diaspora

    Chapt 2 Discourses and Infrastructures

    Chapt 3 Local forms and syncretisms

    PART 3: Bridge: Anomalies

    Chapt 4 Problematics

    PART 4, Last Eight: Counternarratives and Further Directions

    Chapt 5 Alternative Methodologies

    Chapt 6 Conclusions, Future Directions


    Bruce Johnson is Adjunct Professor in the School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney, Visiting Professor and Docent in the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku, Finland, and also Visiting Professor in the Department of Music at University of Glasgow.

    "... provides abundant evidence that jazz of indisputable originality has emerged in the various diasporas around the world.... Bruce Johnson’s critique of the US-centred model is timely food for thought."

    –Eric Myers, The Australian