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Call for papers #6 : Places for jazz in 21st-century Europe


Scientific direction of : Stéphane Audard
Editorial team : Mélodine Lascombes, Manon Fabre and Clément Séchau

Throughout jazz history, changes in the places and contexts of dissemination have been closely tied to the rapid succession of styles and currents. These changes constantly inform who should play what, for whom, and how. The idea of a centre, the United States, and a fringe, the rest of the world, is widely debated in both jazz production and research, even in the earliest periods. It is necessary to consider the diverse range of locations, their associated portrayals, and their interconnections : dance venues, clubs, festivals, recording studios, schools, and so forth.
The concepts of space, place, area, and territory are often muddled. Despite their distinctions, they all categorise space and hence complement each other. The term "place" refers to a particular section of space that can be either discrete or restricted by physical, abstract, or symbolic boundaries. Jazz venues are typically defined based on the jazz activities occurring or occurred there. It is worth considering how a location restricts or shapes jazz. That said, it can serve as a place for jazz’s inception, production, dissemination, consumption or education.
The rise of the internet and the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly altered the dynamic between music and production spaces. Both digital and physical venues are subject to the interplay between the globalization of music distribution and the localization of production. Defining the jazz object, which is in a state of perpetual redefinition, has become more challenging than ever. Regardless of whether they are geographical or musical, boundaries have become porous and fluid. Nevertheless, they continue to be an issue of artistic and economic influence. Strong jazz identities have developed in various European countries over time, as a result of specific relationships between the territory, reception, and local musical traditions. The dissemination and teaching of jazz, supported by cultural policies, is a crucial element in this process. The development of European networks in these fields also contributes to the growth of jazz. The jazz scene in Europe is characterised by its diverse geography and styles, the crucial roles of jazz festival and club presenters and public authorities, the emergence of new venues, international collaborations, and its resilience amid challenges such as the pandemic. It remains an integral component of the global music scene, continuously evolving while retaining its roots and influence. Against this background, one should consider how and where jazz has been produced over the past five decades in Europe. It is important to scrutinise the relationship between venues, practices, and audiences, in an effort to comprehend the current reconfigurations, which will shape the future European jazz scene. To offer some insight into this issue, a number of lines of inquiry are suggested.

They are not exhaustive, but are intended to bring together the issues facing the sector in three main areas.

The field and object
The comprehension and boundaries of ’place’ and ’jazz’ fluctuate across disciplinary approaches : musicology, sociology, ethnomusicology, and so forth. The jazz distribution sector has undergone significant impacts due to shifts in cultural and musical practices in the last five decades. The rise of the internet has revolutionized the way artists and audiences convene and engage with each other. The definition of the "jazz object" just as much as that of the venues within the constantly evolving jazz field can be questioned. To what extent do spatial and social contexts contribute to shaping jazz practices ?

The distribution networks undergo a constant reshaping through complex interactions between its various stakeholders including presenters, media, musicians, teachers, audiences, and governing bodies. The interplay
between public cultural policies, private interests and groupings of artists and promoters contributes to creating a distinct geography for jazz in each European country, shaped by their unique historical contexts. The
conditions offered to artists and their creative freedom are determined by negotiations, political and financial influence, and cultural heritage. It is crucial to thoroughly assess the situation in each region at various levels (city, region, country) and connect them to global dynamics at the European level to understand what is heard, to whom it is directed, and within which frameworks. Are specific patterns discernible in the various varieties of networks : their conception, replication, dispersal, and absorption (Leyshon, 1998) ?

The jazz distribution sector has faced numerous crises in the past five decades. The financial sustainability of venues, obtaining public funding for live performances, and revitalizing audiences remain significant and ongoing challenges for both jazz musicians and venues. A historical viewpoint considering the economic, artistic, cultural, territorial, and institutional aspects of the sector can aid in comprehending the potential approaches to address these issues. The COVID-19 pandemic and the hindsight gained from it have highlighted the fragility of systems and the interdependence of all players involved. Could this insight aid in our ability to anticipate and potentially prevent future crises in the medium term ?

Submission guidelines

Please send proposed work to epistrophy@epistrophy.fr by 9th February 2024.
Proposals must include :

  • a title ;
  • an abstract of approximately 3000 characters ;
  • a brief bibliography ;
  • a short bio-bibliography of the author ;
  • The editorial board of the journal will choose the submissions and notify the authors no later than 8th March 2024.

Following acceptance, authors must submit their complete article by 10th May 2024 at the latest for publication in the summer 2024 issue.
All invited pieces will be double-blind peer reviewed.
Articles should not exceed 30,000 characters (excluding spaces, notes, and bibliographies) and may include separate photo, music, or video files as per the charter’s specifications.


BECKER Howard S. « Les lieux du jazz », {Sociologie et sociétés}, volume 34, numéro 2, automne 2002, p. 111–120. BRAGGS Rashida K., Jazz Diasporas: {Race, Music, and Migration in Post-World War II Paris}, Oakland, California, University of California Press, coll. « Music of the African Diaspora », no 18, 2016. CERCHIARI Luca, Laurent CUGNY et Franz KERSCHBAUMER (éd.), {Eurojazzland: Jazz and European Sources, Dynamics, and Contexts}, Boston, Northeastern University Press, 2012. CRESSWELL Tim, {Place: An Introduction}, Chichester, West Sussex, UK; Malden, MA, Wiley–Blackwell, 2014. HAVAS Ádám, {The Genesis and Structure of the Hungarian Jazz Diaspora}, New York, Routledge, 2022. KNAUER Wolfram, {« Play yourself, man! »: die Geschichte des Jazz in Deutschland mit 60 Abbildungen}, Ditzingen, Reclam, 2019. LEYSHON Andrew, MATLESS David, REVILL George, {The Place of Music}, Guilford press, 1998. MARTINELLI Francesco (éd.), {The History of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians and Audience in Context}, Bristol, CT; Sheffield, UK, Equinox Publishing Ltd, coll. « Popular music history », 2017. PHILLIPS Damon J., {Shaping Jazz: Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form,} Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 2013. NICHOLSON Stuart, {Jazz and Culture in a Global Age}, Boston, Northeastern University Press, 2014. TEAL Kimberly Hannon,{ Jazz Places: How Performance Spaces Shape Jazz History}, Oakland, California, University of California Press, 2021. VITALI Luca, {Sound of the North: The Norwegian Jazz Scene}., Mimesis Edizioni, 2015. WOLBERT Klaus (éd.), {That’s Jazz: Der Sound des Jahrhunderts}, Frankfurt am Main, Zweitausendeins, 1997



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