Research Round Table – 11.05.2022

399 557 International Society for Jazz Research

Vortrag von Ádám Havas (Milestone Institute, Hungary) am 11. Mai 2022 um 18.00 Uhr im Palais Meran, Kleiner Saal:
“Swinging” Cultural Difference in Eastern Europe: The Genesis and Structure of the Hungarian Jazz Diaspora

Based on the monograph The Genesis and Structure of the Hungarian Jazz Diaspora, the talk explores three major aspects of the century-old trajectory of Hungarian jazz: the music’s subversive role in the redefinition of racialized concepts of “national culture”, Hungary’s geocultural “swinging” between “East” and “West”, and the emergence of a national free jazz movement inspired by folk music.
Special attention is devoted to how conflicting definitions of jazz as the “sound of Western modernity” have resulted in a symbolic rivalry between US-centric mainstream jazz and Bartók-oriented free jazz aesthetics.
This historical perspective not only reveals the extent to which “traditionalism” and “modernism” were linked to class- and race-based cultural distinctions, it offers critical insights into the social logic of Hungary’s geocultural position in the “twilight zone” between “East” and “West”. Finally, the presentation casts light on how the transition from playing “coffeehouse music” to bebop became a significant element in the assimilation strategies of Romani musicians, and on how playing jazz continues to function as means to express cultural difference. By combining Pierre Bourdieu’s cultural sociology with popular music studies and postcolonial scholarship, I seek to demonstrate the manifold connections of this particular jazz scene to the global networks of cultural production that also continue to shape it.

Ádám Havas is a sociologist and jazz researcher based in Budapest, Hungary. He was the chair of IASPM Hungary from 2018 to 2020 and is currently a member of the editorial board at Jazz Research Journal and Replika. Together with Bruce Johnson and David Horn, he is co-editing the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Diasporic Jazz Studies. His monograph The Genesis of the Hungarian Jazz Diaspora (Routledge) will be published in 2022. His writings have been published in in Popular Music, Jazz Research Journal and Jazz Research News, among others.