Making Bread Abroad: A Prosopographical Survey of American Jazz Musicians in Europe, 1945-1990
Clark, Benjamin J.
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Shortly after the end of the Second World War, American jazz musicians started to tour Western Europe again. Enticed by the offer of more work, dozens of these individuals would become expatriates residing in Europe, living and working abroad for years. The experiences of these musicians in residence abroad are not particularly well understood by the existing scholarship. They came from a variety of backgrounds, and experienced living in Europe in different ways. And so it poses a challenge for scholars seeking to understand the phenomenon, as only a handful of the expatriates' stories are well known. Using a prosopographical approach, this thesis will attempt to gather the collective biographies of the jazz expatriates, to better understand what led to their time abroad and what the experience of being an expatriate meant. European audiences not only supported jazz musicians, but were often far more agreeable to the expatriates because Europeans appreciated jazz as an art and were less restrictive towards African Americans . While Paris became the center for jazz in Europe in the early years, the proliferation of jazz across Western Europe led to more professional opportunities for musicians in a decentralized European jazz scene. This reality was problematic for some expatriates, as living abroad created an isolation from other musicians and their friends and family back home, but many of them found ways to adapt. Ultimately the creation of a global jazz market made the need to reside in Europe to access European markets unnecessary, and as fewer musicians became expatriates, the phenomenon died off by the end of the twentieth century.
World War, 1939-1945--Songs and music