Jazz Research Journal, Vol 4, No 2 (2010)

‘Down with bebop—viva swing!’: Swing Club and the meaning of jazz in late 1940s Estonia

Heli Reimann
Issued Date: 28 Mar 2012

Abstract


The study focuses on one particular year in Estonian jazz history—1948. This year marked the start of the pivotal period in Estonian cultural history—the beginning of the most intense ideological pressure in the sequence of the ‘tightening the screws’, as it was referred to metaphorically. This year began a period of the lowest political tolerance jazz has ever experienced in its entire Soviet Estonian history. This study addresses the following questions with particular reference to the Estonian jazz group Swing Club: How was the socio-political turmoil reflected in Estonian jazz life? How did the musicians attune their musical weltanschauung to the creative space provided by this subversive historical moment? How did Estonian jazz musicians realize their creative potential in the conditions of this limited creative freedom?

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DOI: 10.1558/jazz.v4i2.95

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