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The History of European Jazz

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In the course of almost a century, European jazz musicians not only produced a corpus of work worthy of much wider appreciation, but also adopted strategies to adapt to the varied reception that the music evoked, which ranged from joyful acceptance to outright prohibition, the latter often involving survival and protest in equal measure. As the first organic overview of the history of jazz in Europe, and covering the subject from its inception to the present day, this volume provides a unique, authoritative addition to the musicological literature.

Entries are written in a narrative style and are presented on a country-by-country basis. Each article is authored by a jazz history specialist from the specific country who contextualizes the music in the cultural landscape of that country, discussing the most influential figures of its development, and referencing the sometimes considerable literature available in the national language. This unprecedented pool of authors makes much of this information available in English for the first time. Further chapters cover related subjects: the history of African-American entertainers before jazz, the cross-national traditions of Gypsy and Jewish music, festivals, films, and avant-garde music. The book also draws on the newly available resources created by the extensive work being done nationally by various jazz archives. Chapters contain in-depth bibliographies, rare photographs and illustrations, and suggested listening lists.

Supported by the Europe Jazz Network with funding from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, this volume will serve as an inspiration for new generations of listeners and musicians.

Published: Sep 4, 2018

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Series Editor's Note Alyn Shipton
European Jazz: Stories that Needed to be Told Francesco Martinelli
Part 1: Western Europe
1. France Xavier Prevost
2a. Great Britain: 1900 - 1960 Alyn Shipton
2b. Great Britain: 1950-2010: Late-flowering Seeds of the Triangular Trade Duncan Heining
3. Ireland Cormac Larkin
4. Germany Martin Pfleiderer
5. The Netherlands Bert Vuijsje
6. Belgium Jean-Pol Schroeder
7. Luxembourg Marc Demuth
Part 2: Scandinavia
8. Denmark Tore Mortensen
9a. Sweden: 1919-1969 Jan Bruer
9b. Sweden: 1970-2000 Måns Wallgren
10. Finland Juha Henriksson
11. Norway Bjorn Stendahl
12. Iceland Vernhardur Linnet
Part 3: Central Europe
13. Poland Krystian Brodacki
14. Czech Republic Yvetta Kajanova
15. Slovakia Yvetta Kajanova
16. Hungary: The road to independence Gabor Turi
17. Romania Virgil Mihaiu
18. Austria Andreas Felber
19. Switzerland Bruno Spoerri
Part 4: Eastern Europe
20. Russia: Ninety-five Years in Search of an Identity Cyril Moshkow
21. Belarus Dmitri Podberezsky
22. Ukraine Alexander Yudin
Part 5: The Western Mediterranean
23. Spain Chema Martinez
24a. Portugal: 1920-1974 Pedro Cravinho
24b. Portugal: 1974-2010 Rui Paes
25. Italy Francesco Martinelli
Part 6: The Baltic States
26. Latvia Indrikis Veitners
27. Lithuania Ruta Skudiene
28. Estonia Tiit Lauk
Part 7: South-East Europe
29. Greece Sakis Papadimitriou
30. Former Yugoslavia (including Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Vojvodina and Kosovo) Mike Mazur, Iço Vidmar, Eleni Novakovska, Edin Zubčević
31. Bulgaria Vladimir Gadjev
Part 8: Europe/Asia
32. Turkey Hulya Tuncag
33. Azerbaijan Rain Sultanov
34. Armenia Armen Manukian
Part 9: Themes
35. Early African American Entertainers Rainer Lotz
36. Django Reinhardt and jazz manouche Michael Dregni
37. Jews and Jewish Music Gabriele Coen
38. The Avant- Garde: Black-and-White Atlantic Dialogues, c. 1960s Michael Heffley
39. Film Selwyn Harris
40. Festivals George McKay
End Matter
Subject Index Francesco Martinelli
Index of Works Francesco Martinelli


The History of European Jazz is a monumental work of international scholarship, which has been part-funded by the EU. The large format, two-column layout means that each page is twice the size you would find in a conventional book. There are 742 pages, with 45 contributors from across the continent.
The importance of this book [is that it is] published in just one language – English. At last, we have a single publication that brings together a vast collection of knowledge and ideas and traditions, many of which have never travelled beyond certain national boundaries. Each chapter not only narrates the development of jazz in each country but includes a separate bibliography and listening guide.
To call
The History of European Jazz fascinating is something of an understatement. Every chapter is full of extraordinary information.
Peter Jones, Jazz in Europe