Race, history, and black British jazz

Toynbee, Jason (2013). Race, history, and black British jazz. Black Music Research Journal, 33(1) pp. 1–25.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5406/blacmusiresej.33.1.0001

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/blacmusiresej....


This article traces the history of black British jazz across five moments from 1920 to the present. It also makes a theoretical argument about the nature of race and its connection both with music and belonging to the nation. Race is indeed a musical-discursive construction, as has been argued in the literature about culture and ethnicity over the last thirty years or so. But it is a social structure too, and the contradictions that result are key to understanding the race-music relationship.

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