Jazz Research Journal, Vol 6, No 2 (2012)

Hot and cool from Buenos Aires to Chicago: Guillermo Gregorio’s jazz cosmopolitanism

Andrew Raffo Dewar
Issued Date: 19 Dec 2013


‘Dance under the stars to the music of 1924’ read the handbill—but it is not 1924, it is 1958—and Buenos Aires, Argentina is not normally considered a bastion of Chicago-style ‘hot’ jazz. Nonetheless, the little-known Hot Dogs Band, which included composer and multi-reedist Guillermo Gregorio, played their nostalgic take on this music, separated by time and geography, but drawn to a cosmopolitan aesthetic ideal. Engaging with the tropes of the ‘journeyman musician’ and more broadly the ‘jazz journey’, this essay discusses two kinds of migration—the physical movements of Argentine-American composer, saxophonist and clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio, and aspects of the aesthetic migration of jazz as it relates to mid-1950s Buenos Aires. Gregorio’s story is a compelling global journey from Buenos Aires to Vienna, Los Angeles and finally Chicago, often led by his individualized concept of the ‘cool’. By viewing Gregorio’s physical migrations as a movement towards his aesthetic ideals, we see a captivating manifestation of the transnational circulation of jazz.

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DOI: 10.1558/jazz.v6i2.151


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