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Aesthetics in Jazz in the 21st Century - the six strands

10 and 11 November 2023, Graz, Austria

Strand 1: Aesthetics and Politics
In this politically charged post-BLM world, we seek papers and presentations that discuss the aesthetics of jazz in its current form since the beginning of the 21C, as well as its role as a political and an artistic force.
Is jazz a specific genre? Or is jazz an “approach to music” which is supported by the myriad stylistic variations and cultural influences? In the past, the “jazz is dead” theory has popped up many times, always signifying that a new period in jazz has started. Where is jazz standing today in the 21C?

Strand 2: The Self-Esteem and Identity of the Jazz Musician
How do jazz musicians balance their careers? How much is sacrificed to play the music the jazz musician really likes? After their university studies, jazz students, perhaps more than students in other genres, are active in the music business as a primary source of income. However, a certain percentage give up jazz and sometimes music altogether. Others devote more time than desired to a “day job” which finances their ability to play jazz, often sporadically. How do jazz musicians consider and evaluate the decisions they have to make?

Strand 3: The New Historiography of Jazz
The succession of styles and aesthetics in jazz, one after another in every decade, as described in many history books, can no longer be maintained. From the 1980s on, a polyphony of “narratives” started to appear. In one narrative, the African American roots of dominate. Other narratives underline the global nature of jazz. In certain narratives, cultural claiming takes place, in others cultural appropriation. How does one detect and avoid biases in writing and thinking about jazz in the 21C?

Strand 4: The Power of Jazz in the Cultural Landscape
Jazz has climbed the ladder from simple music used for entertainment in obscure venues to highly esteemed art music. In the 21C, the massive jazz summer festivals have taken over the leading festivals of classical music in their success and popularity. Jazz was and is, therefore, influencing other forms of art. What is this innate aesthetic power of jazz to undergo metamorphoses all the time and to be a dialectic with other art forms? How are these attributes of jazz currently working and what aesthetic and creative outcomes might be expected?

Strand 5: Media Aesthetics in 21C Jazz
Every style of jazz in the past was mediated in a specific mix of media. The jazz artist in the 21C has an abundance of media to choose from: vinyl, CDs, streaming platforms, newsletters, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, a website, a blog and more. How should musicians utilize these communication options effectively? How should musicians market themselves in such a way that fits appropriately and efficaciously with the content of the jazz played? Is there a way of using the various media intelligently that will reinforce each other?

Strand 6: Open Strand
Any type of research that is more or less linked with the keywords of the conference: aesthetics, philosophy, applied jazz research, artistic research, practice-based research, jazz education, jazz performance.


Pictures of the conference 'Aesthetics in Jazz in the 21st Century'

Carousel of pictures of the conference: coming soon.


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