Jazz Collectives

Jazz Collectives

The Collective Organisation of Contemporary Jazz Musicians in the UK

This article examines the conditions under which jazz is created as a live music among young musicians in three major UK cities. The analysis uses approaches from political economy and cultural studies, including interviews with jazz musicians and promoters in these local jazz scenes, to explore how the participants organize themselves and, in particular, how they use ideas of collective working to achieve their ends.

The authors make the case that the collective has become the primary organizing principle through which contemporary jazz musicians create performance opportunities, sustain production cultures and negotiate their relationships with the music industries in these scenes. This thesis is supported through a detailed examination of the work of local collectives, the semiotic use of collective organization, and the relationship of the collectives to the jazz educational programmes based in those cities.

This article was published in The Jazz Research Journal, Vol 5.1/5.2, November 2012.