Jazz in Europe

New Music in the Old Continent

by Igor Wasserberger (Author)
Edited Collection XXVIII, 510 Pages


Jazz in Europe provides a detailed record of how «new» (American) music evolved on the «old» (European) continent. The «chroniclers» explore the history of jazz in individual European countries from a local perspective, with each author contributing a unique bird’s-eye view of their particular context. This comprehensive analysis of the origins and dissemination of jazz on the old continent, produced by an international team of distinguished writers, is the first of its kind. Although members of national jazz communities may not agree with all the views presented in the book, it will undoubtedly provoke lively debate and open up new avenues for research within European jazz scholarship.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Figures
  • Foreword: Jazz and Europe in the Twentieth Century: Dominants and Stereotypes of the New Music in the Old Continent (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 1: Great Britain (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 2: France and the Francophone Countries (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 3: Austria (Antonín Matzner)
  • 4: Germany (Antonín Matzner)
  • 5: The Soviet Union (Antonín Matzner)
  • 6: Switzerland (Antonín Matzner)
  • 7: Italy (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 8: Hungary (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 9: Scandinavian Countries and the Nordic Concept (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 10: The Netherlands (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 11: The Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 12: Yugoslavia and Succession Countries: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia (Igor Wasserberger)
  • 13: Poland (Igor Wasserberger / Peter Motycka)
  • 14: The Czech Lands (Antonín Matzner)
  • 15: Slovakia: Slovak Jazz in the Czechoslovak Era (Igor Wasserberger / Peter Motycka)
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index

← vi | vii →


Cover photo: Tomasz Stańko.
International Jazzfestival Saalfelden, Austria, August 2006.
© Patrick Španko

← xvi | xvii →


Foreword: Jazz and Europe in the Twentieth Century: Dominants and Stereotypes of the New Music in the Old Continent

In the last three decades the idea of ‘Europeanism’ has gained accelerating currency in various areas, particularly and understandably for political reasons. As a result of the meeting of pan-European perceptions, we have become used to a new outlook: we now understand phenomena in a wider context than their national boundaries. Jazz, however, fully anticipated this process from the time of its continental domestication. From the beginning of the 1920s jazz belonged among those areas that accepted European unity naturally and for which officially established European fellow-feeling was not needed.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (September)
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2018. XXVIII, 510 pp., 93 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Igor Wasserberger (Author)

Igor Wasserberger (born 1937 in Bratislava, Slovakia) has been active as a jazz theoretician and writer since the early 1960s. He collaborated on the Encyclopedia of Jazz and Modern Popular Music (together with Antonín Matzner and Ivan Poledňák, 1980–90) and is also the author of Jazz Profiles (co-author Antonín Matzner, 1969) and Phenomena of Contemporary Jazz (2003). Antonín Matzner (born 1944 in Plzeň, Czech Republic; died 2017 in Prague) was a music theoretician and writer. Among his most important achievements are the four-volume Encyclopedia of Jazz and Modern Popular Music, which he co-wrote and co-edited (1980–90), The Beatles, the Voice of a Generation (Prague, 1987), Czech Film Music (coauthor Jiří Pilka, Prague, 2002) and Sixty Prague Springs (Prague, 2006). Peter Motyčka (born 1978 in Michalovce, Slovakia) is a writer on music with a focus on jazz, as well as editing the monthly classical music magazine Hudobný život published by Music Centre Slovakia (Hudobné centrum). He participated in the Jazz in Eastern Europe project run by the Osteuropa-Institut at Freie Universität Berlin (2007–10).


Title: Jazz in Europe