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Jazz from Socialist Realism to Postmodernism


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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The Changing Face of Slovak Jazz


Abstract: Since the turn of the century Slovak jazz has developed new features. Jazzmen are now forming international groups which have a predominance of Central European musicians. Consequently, jazz in Slovakia has become multicultural not only through its band membership, but also through the fusion of various musical cultures. The phenomena of child prodigies and female jazz musicians emerged.

From being largely Slovakian jazz groups, they have transformed themselves into supranational ensembles with universal jazz attributes. The emergence of child prodigies and the stronger role of female composers and instrumentalists are amongst the other new features of Slovak jazz after 2000. The question arises as to whether these trends are only temporary, or ongoing and will distinguish the Central European jazz from the wider European context.

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