Interconnectivity between JR and Jazz discussed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Interconnectivity between JR and Jazz discussed

SAADIA QAMAR

KARACHI: There is a connectivity between International Relations (IR) and Jazz Music; as discussed In depth at The Second Floor by an American professor of International Relations at the American University, Washington DC.

Dr Clarence Lusane explained the relationship between the two subject disciplines very clearly and forth-right. Jazz as a form bf music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of blacks with the European music; said in his lecture;

“Where International Relations and Jazz music is concerned, it is evidently seen that jazz as a form of cultural imperialism has taken firm roots but it has even met with strong cultural resistance and still survived; for Jazz musicians have been cultural and social revolutionaries in their own rights.” Jazz is one of the oldest form of music composition.

The first Jazz song that made headlines was, ‘The Whistling Coon’ which sold over a million copies in 1890. Lusane said, “From 1890 till 1917, the Black traditional music was growing in the US and even in Latin America. In 1895, we saw the birth of Buddy Bolden, a musical group that was formed.

Moreover in the first part of the 20th century the growth focused on new technologies which were key to global spread of Jazz music that was done through records and radio.”

Lusane said, “During the inter-war period; when the US was in a transformational phase, the American Jazz was making headlines all across Europe; for in 1920-1930 period, Jazz would emerge as ‘Swing’.

This ‘Swing’ became popular not only in the US but even in Europe, firstly because it was a dance music; secondly the Great Depression that came across the Western countries was dealt a direct blow through this musical genre with ease.” But Lusane, even mentioned that resistance was there in the form of “Un speak-able Jazz must go” and “Students in Arms against Jazz.” But more derogatory was that “Nazi too saw Jazz music as Jewish and Black music.

Strange combination Nazis held a conference to ‘degenerate music’ including jazz. From 1940-1960, the ‘Swing’ band would get effected by men going to war.”

On a more non-lucid note, Jazz was even banned from being promoted in the countries under the umbrella of the Iron Curtain but it would still be able to reach out to some 100 million people at its peak.

Lusane mentioned, “From 1960-1980, within these two decades, Jazz Ambassador Program was launched. Dizzy Gillespie toured Pakistan in 1956. In the sphere of International Relations, Tom Jopin brought Brazilian jazz music to what it is in Brazil today and in South Africa, Jazz music was viewed as freedom music during the Apartheid era.”

On a final note, Lusane said, “There is some bad news engulfing jazz in the US, for all about 3.0 percent of all of the jazz music that has been sold in the US, during 2008 is along past dead music.

But on a positive side to it, Jazz has played an instrumental part in the White House since 1960s and in the present day, President Obama has held three concerts on Jazz music in the White House, a1one in his tenure.”
Source: The Nation
Date:3/1/2010