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Jazz from Socialist Realism to Postmodernism

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Edited By Yvetta Kajanová, Gertrud Pickhan and Rüdiger Ritter

In the 20th century, jazz was an important artistic form. Depending on the particular European country, jazz music carried different social, political and aesthetic meanings. It brought challenges in the areas of racial issues, the politics of the Cold War between East and West, and in the exploration of boundaries of artistic freedom. In socialist Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland, the situation began to change after 1956 and then 1968, when the ideologists shifted from the aesthetics of socialist realism to postmodernism. In Western countries such as France and Italy, jazz transformed from a modern to a postmodern period. This volume deals with the impact of these changes on the career development of jazz musicians – even beyond 1989 – in terms of various phenomena such as emigration, child prodigies, multiculturalism, multi-genre approaches, or female jazz musicians.

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Toni Kitanovski and Cherkezi Orchestra – Global and Local Intercourse

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Abstract: This study deals primarily with the local response of jazz as global music. Besides the descriptive part of music, through the work of the Macedonian jazz musician Toni Kitanovski and his Cherkezi Orchestra, we will explore particular social, cultural and music elements in their local manifestation.

The paper focuses on music analysis of Toni Kitanovski and the Cherkezi Orchestra two albums: Borderlands (2006) and Shukar (2011). The first one, Borderlands, has demonstrated the creative potential of the band to a wider audience and has received positive responses from critics and listeners. Numerous invitations to jazz and world music festivals followed, which provided a great opportunity for them to show their music. After studying at the Berklee College of Music, Kitanovski returned to Macedonia. Because there were no black musicians in Macedonia, as Kitanovski said, he started playing with gypsies whose brass bands share a similar tradition with the early jazz marching groups using a clave rhythm and instruments borrowed from army brass orchestras. Kitanovski and the Cherkezi Orchestra have explored the Balkan variety of musical styles based on the modes and rhythms of antiquity and Byzantine and eastern traditions. At the same time, the traditional music integrates with the global jazz styles drawn largely from Kitanovski’s academic background. The music is part of the ‘local/global everyday’ situation that became very topical in the last couple of years in jazz or popular music performances or productions.

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