In the previous chapter, we discussed the effects of “transculturation” on a new generation of jazz performers. Forces of globalization (sending the jazz aesthetic around the world) and glocalization (the need to adopt the music to local cultural conditions) have been at work to create new and exciting musical styles. Go to Africa or Brazil and you will hear music that takes American jazz as its starting point, but is shaped, both consciously and unconsciously, by elements from local culture. As the South African Group Tribe point out, “Growing up in South Africa, we are lucky to experience many diverse styles and influences we are not trying to emulate a specific style from a specific place and time. Rather, our music stems from our own experiences in this time.” However, the effect of transculturation and the resulting jazz styles that have emerged around the globe continues to be a missing strand in the narrative of jazz history. In his essay “Toward a Global History of Jazz,” E. Taylor Atkins, an associate
professor of History at Northern Illinois University, underscores the need to study:
The extent to which historians have customarily ignored developments in jazz outside the borders of the United States was institutionalized in the Ken Burns documentary film Jazz, where Europe’s role in jazz was portrayed as a place that provided work for American jazz musicians. As Atkins notes, “Few of Burns’s American critics objected to the filmmaker’s decision to omit virtually all mention of relevant developments in other countries: the setting of the jazz history narrative exclusively within the borders of the United States . . . struck most critics as natural and unproblematic.” In fact, one key area in the growth of jazz outside America has been Europe, whose democracies, entertainment infrastructures, and social conditions provided similar circumstances to those that allowed jazz to flourish in the United States.