AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Jazz, pop, improvisation, national identity and the role of the jazz drummer

by NM Katuszonek

Institution: University of Salford
Department: School of Arts & Media
Year: 2014
Keywords: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Record ID: 1392360
Full text PDF: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/32827/


This research is focused on the interrelationship between three themes: the identity of contemporary jazz, the relation between contemporary jazz and popular music, and thirdly, jazz and national identity. Using this triangulation, I examine the constructed nature of musical practice, interrogating the notion that the distinctions between music, whether it is genre specific or geographically determined, are natural and innate. Linking theory to practice, I examine how the areas of my research described above, feed into my role as a professional, contemporary jazz drummer. The restricting effect of defining the role of the contemporary jazz musician in rigid, genre-centred definitions is questioned through examining jazz’s relationship with popular music and the music’s’ standing in the hi-art vs. popular culture debate. This area is practically explored in the performance projects through the juxtaposition of both popular repertoire and technical approaches to popular styles with contemporary jazz performance conventions. The notion of jazz and national identity is examined through reflecting on the personal experiences of my role as an arranger and performer operating in Norway and the UK. Specifically, this research will seek to enhance our understanding of the roles the drummer has to play in negotiating the codes and rules used in this area of creative music making. My research is based on a practice-led methodology pursued through two sets of comparative performance projects that have evolved over the last three and a half years. This work utilizes the process of creating the music, live performances and recordings as case studies for comparison and analysis. The content of each performance project provides a platform for me to engage with the specific areas outlined in the thesis and I use practice as a means of raising and exploring questions and explaining codes and conventions.