This Is Our Music?: Tradition, community and musical identity in contemporary British jazz

Fletcher, Michael (2016) This Is Our Music?: Tradition, community and musical identity in contemporary British jazz. In: New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice. Warwick Series in the Humanities . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 165-186. ISBN 9781848936096

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In this chapter I look at some of the factors involved in being a British jazz musician in the 21st century. Drawing on material gathered from interviews with my peers and colleagues, as well as my own personal experiences as a performer, I address questions of education, cultural identity and social interaction.
Historically jazz has been learned as part of an oral tradition, with information being passed down the generations, ideas honed in the woodshed and mettle tested on the bandstand. Here I question whether geographical separation from the direct lineage of the American ‘masters’ has an effect on the way British musicians locate themselves within jazz, whether a comparable lineage exists in this country and how these two interact.
I evaluate the role of the university jazz course in the UK as a way of learning and ask if, in recent years, the prevalence of institutionalised way of learning jazz has changed they way musicians assimilate the music, interact with each other and what effect this has on the music they create.
Finally I assess how all of these factors manifest themselves in the way jazz is created in Britain and the possibility of anything identifiably British in British jazz.

Item Type: Book Section
15 December 2016Published
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Depositing User: Michael Fletcher
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 10:47
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:54

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