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Historicizing Jazz: An Argument for Decanonization

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Abstract:

Undeniably, the canonization of Jazz has had a tremendous impact on the way we understand Jazz today. During the Cold War years, the United States faced the task of representing their national identity to the international community. In order to do so, the United States created Ambassadors tours and positioned Jazz at the forefront. These tours brought a newfound popularity to Jazz music inside the US and the overwhelming resources received from the State Department ultimately lead to the canonization of Jazz music. This canonization officially began the process of removing Jazz from its communicative, Black American, working class origins. Disassociating Jazz music from Black American culture reinforced the notion that black and modern were two diametrically opposed categories in the US, while lulling the international community into believing that the US was seriously attempting to rectify its historical racial tensions. The political gain achieved by the US government through co-opting Jazz leaves one to question the current essence of the music. This paper analyzes the US State Department’s cooptation of Jazz music in order to gain clout in the international community, while refusing to acknowledge the condition of Black American life in the US. This paper also seeks to problematize the theorization of Jazz, which does not take seriously, improvisation as the technique or true methodology that has fundamentally propelled Jazz as an art form. Finally, because Jazz improv techniques emerge from a particular historical materiality, this paper argues for the historicization rather than theorization of Jazz music.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435286_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Vincent, Joshua. "Historicizing Jazz: An Argument for Decanonization" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435286_index.html>

APA Citation:

Vincent, J. R. , 2010-09-29 "Historicizing Jazz: An Argument for Decanonization" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435286_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Undeniably, the canonization of Jazz has had a tremendous impact on the way we understand Jazz today. During the Cold War years, the United States faced the task of representing their national identity to the international community. In order to do so, the United States created Ambassadors tours and positioned Jazz at the forefront. These tours brought a newfound popularity to Jazz music inside the US and the overwhelming resources received from the State Department ultimately lead to the canonization of Jazz music. This canonization officially began the process of removing Jazz from its communicative, Black American, working class origins. Disassociating Jazz music from Black American culture reinforced the notion that black and modern were two diametrically opposed categories in the US, while lulling the international community into believing that the US was seriously attempting to rectify its historical racial tensions. The political gain achieved by the US government through co-opting Jazz leaves one to question the current essence of the music. This paper analyzes the US State Department’s cooptation of Jazz music in order to gain clout in the international community, while refusing to acknowledge the condition of Black American life in the US. This paper also seeks to problematize the theorization of Jazz, which does not take seriously, improvisation as the technique or true methodology that has fundamentally propelled Jazz as an art form. Finally, because Jazz improv techniques emerge from a particular historical materiality, this paper argues for the historicization rather than theorization of Jazz music.


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