Item Details

Jazz and cosmopolitan practice: The case of Lloyd Swanton

Issue: Vol 14 No. 1 (2020)

Journal: Jazz Research Journal

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/jazz.36831


Cosmopolitanism has increasingly been used as a concept to analyse and discuss the cultural and musical practice of jazz musicians. As an interpretive wedge for discussing the history of jazz, cosmopolitanism has been associated with the culturally hybrid establishment of jazz. However, definitions and applications of the term 'cosmopolitanism' remain somewhat ambiguous. In this article, building on the scholarship of cosmopolitanism in jazz, anthropology, philosophy and sociology, I use my ethnographic research with Australian musician Lloyd Swanton to identify certain practices and behaviours. I question how we determine whether a jazz musician's practices can be usefully described as cosmopolitan. I then examine the implications of identifying musical and cultural practice as cosmopolitan and the role of this term in identity formation.

Author: Benjamin Phipps

View Original Web Page

References :

Ake, D. (2002) Jazz Cultures. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

Ake, D., C. H. Garrett and D. Goldmark (2012) 'Introduction'. In Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries, edited by D. Ake, C. H. Garrett and D. Goldmark, 1-8. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.


Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Appiah, K. A. (2006) Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Co.

Beck, U., and N. Snaizder (2006) 'Unpacking Cosmopolitanism for the Social Sciences: A Research Agenda'. British Journal of Sociology 57/1: 1-23.

Berliner, P. (1994) Thinking in Jazz. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bhabha, H. (1994) The Location of Culture. New York and London: Routledge.

Bohlman, P. (2002) World Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Born, G. (2011) 'Music and the Materialisation of Identities'. Journal of Material Culture 16/4: 376-88.

Breckenridge, C., S. Pollock, H. K. Bhabha and D. Chakrabarty (2002) 'Cosmopolitanisms'. In Cosmopolitanism, edited by C. A. Breckenridge, S. Pollock, H. K. Bhabha and D. Chakrabarty, 1-14. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.

Camal, J. (2012) 'Creolizing Jazz, Jazzing the Tout-monde: Jazz, Gwoka and the Poetics of Relation'. Francophone Postcolonial Studies-American Creoles: The Francophone Caribbean and the American South 3: 165-82.


Delanty, G. (2006) 'The Cosmopolitan Imagination: Critical Cosmopolitanism and Social Theory'. British Journal of Sociology 57/1: 25-47.

Feld, S. (1996) 'Pygmy POP: A Genealogy of Schizophonic Mimesis'. Yearbook for Traditional Music 28: 1-35.

-(2000) 'A Sweet Lullaby for World Music'. Public Culture 12/1: 145-71.

-(2012) Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.

Gilroy, P. (1993) The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

-(2000) Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race. London and New York: Routledge.

Gioia, T. (1989) 'Jazz and the Primitivist Myth'. Musical Quarterly 73/1: 130-43.

Gracyk, T. (2002) 'Jazz after Jazz: Ken Burns and the Construction of Jazz History'. Philosophy and Literature 26/1: 173-87.

Hannerz, U. (1990) 'Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture'. Theory, Culture & Society 7/2-3: 237-51.

Jordan, S. (2010) World Music: Global Sounds in Australia. Sydney: UNSW Press.

Lomax, A. (1973) Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and "Inventor of Jazz". Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

Meintjes, L. (1990) 'Paul Simon's Graceland, South Africa, and the Mediation of Musical Meaning'. Ethnomusicology 34/1: 37-73.

Monson, I. (1996) Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.


Moran, A. (2016) The Public Life of Australian Multiculturalism: Building a Diverse Nation. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nicholson, S. (2005) Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address). New York: Routledge.

Porter, E. (1999) '"Dizzy Atmosphere": The Challenge of Bebop'. American Music 17/4: 422-46.

Prouty, K. E. (2010) 'Toward Jazz's "Official" History: The Debates and Discourses of Jazz History Textbooks'. Journal of Music History Pedagogy 1/1: 19-43.

Ramsey, G. (1996) 'Cosmopolitan or Provincial? Ideology in Early Black Music Historiography, 1867-1940'. Black Music Research Journal 16/1: 11-42.

-(2003) Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Regev, M. (2013) Pop-Rock Music: Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism in Late Modernity. Cambridge: Polity.

Shand, J. (2009) Jazz: The Australian Accent. Sydney: UNSW Press.

Shipton, A. (2001) A New History of Jazz. London: Continuum.

Stanyek, J. (2004) 'Transmissions of an Interculture: Pan-African Jazz and Intercultural Improvisation'. In The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation and Communities in Dialogue, edited by D. Fishclin and A. Heble, 87-130. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Storm, J. R. (1985) The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stross, B. (1999) 'The Hybrid Metaphor: From Biology to Culture'. Journal of American Folklore 112/445: 254-67.

Toynbee, J., and L. Wilks (2013) 'Audiences, Cosmopolitanism, and Inequality in Black British Jazz'. Black Music Research Journal 33/1: 27-48.

Washburne, C. (1997) 'The Clave of Jazz: A Caribbean Contribution to the Rhythmic Foundation of an African-American Music'. Black Music Research Journal 17/1: 59-80.

-(2001-2002) 'Latin Jazz: The Other Jazz'. Current Musicology 71-73: 409-423.

Werbner, P. (2006) 'Vernacular Cosmopolitanism'. Theory, Society and Culture 23/2-3: 496-98.