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Somewhere Between Displacement and Belonging: Jazz, Mobility, and Identity in Europe

Dias, J (2016) Somewhere Between Displacement and Belonging: Jazz, Mobility, and Identity in Europe. In: ICMHM´16 - Music and Human Mobility: Redefining Community in Intercultural Context, 07 June 2016 - 09 June 2106, Lisbon, Portugal.

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Jazz in Europe is largely shaped by the mobility of its actors, and informed by both the experiences of actors on the ground and their projection of what European identity is or should be. The mobility provided for European Union Member States by the Schengen Area has exploded the ways in which Europeans perceive and collaborate with each other. Jazz musicians and promoters identify mobility as part of their practices. Contextual factors – such as easier accessibility to communication and mobility –contribute to reshaping the European jazz scene, by creating a new generation of jazz actors who seem more integrated within Europe and who more naturally develop collaborations with their counterparts from different countries. The official discourse of the EU often stresses the notion of ‘Europeanness’ as a set of fundamental abilities. Promoting mobility of its citizens is a key aspect to ultimately inform the notion of a Pan-European ideal. However, contrasts between European counties, such as geographical and economic peripherality and centrality, and differentiated cultural and education policies, still stand as significant challenges to those who operate in the field. The fact that mobility opportunities for artists across Europe are still irregular raises a number of questions around music practices, identity, aesthetics, and the role of the different actors within the ecology of jazz in Europe.

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