Jazz Italian Style: From its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra

Jazz Italian Style: From its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra

by Anna Harwell Celenza


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Jazz Italian Style explores a complex era in music history, when politics and popular culture collided with national identity and technology. When jazz arrived in Italy at the conclusion of World War I, it quickly became part of the local music culture. In Italy, thanks to the gramophone and radio, many Italian listeners paid little attention to a performer's national and ethnic identity. Nick LaRocca (Italian-American), Gorni Kramer (Italian), the Trio Lescano (Jewish-Dutch), and Louis Armstrong (African-American), to name a few, all found equal footing in the Italian soundscape. The book reveals how Italians made jazz their own, and how, by the mid-1930s, a genre of jazz distinguishable from American varieties and supported by Mussolini began to flourish in northern Italy and in its turn influenced Italian-American musicians. Most importantly, the book recovers a lost repertoire and an array of musicians whose stories and performances are compelling and well worth remembering.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781316619476
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/22/2018
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.65(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Anna Harwell Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University, Washington DC, where she teaches courses in music history, radio journalism and the music industry. She is the author or editor of several scholarly books, and has published numerous articles on composers and musicians from Franz Liszt and Gustav Mahler to Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra.

Table of Contents

1. Italians and the origins of jazz; 2. Jazz crosses the Atlantic; 3. Jazz and fascism; 4. Jazz Italian style; 5. A nation divided.

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