I learned a lot presenting ongoing research related to my “What is this Revenant Called “Jazz”?” project at the Society for American Music 49th Annual Conference this week. SAM is such a great conference – much love and thanks go those in attendance for their generative comments and questions. Check out these links to the paper/slides below – would love to talk about this research any time.
ABSTRACT: While something called “jazz” persists, a growing series of movements assert its death. This paper considers the contemporary why, how, and so what of that problematic and unresolved category. Looking beyond previous refusals, issues of neoclassical jazz, and institutionalization, this paper investigates what kind of work those demands to divest from or refigure a relationship to “jazz” might do for musicians and communities of cultural production. In particular, I consider how through a label and performance series, a music festival, and the music and rhetoric of a young group of artists, “Jazz Is Dead” is becoming an aesthetic and brand.