Jazz Research Journal, Vol. 5.1/5.2 (2011)

‘The revolution never ended’: The cultural politics of a creative-music collective in New York City

Scott Currie
Issued Date: 19 Nov 2012

Abstract


From the Jazz Artists and Jazz Composers Guilds, through the Collective Black Artists and New York Musicians Organization, to the Musicians of Brooklyn Initiative, Jump Arts, and beyond, New York City jazz collectives have long struggled to redefine the relationships among artists, audiences, and the broader music industry. Based on a decade and a half of ethnographic engagement, this article examines the contemporary cultural phenomenon of the Arts for Art collective, which has presented annual Vision Festivals in downtown Manhattan since 1996 to showcase their improvisational activism. As documented through interviews and engaged interaction with its artist-organizers, the history of this collective offers unique and critical perspectives not only upon the politics of artist-business relationships, but also upon the potential of avant-garde jazz performance practices significantly to restructure the artist-audience relationship through the creation of cohesive musical communities.

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DOI: 10.1558/jazz.v5i1-2.43

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