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This presentation examines the presence and significance of African-derived clothing styles among Jazz musicians in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The study primarily focuses on musicians associated with progressive strains of the musical form, such as Free Jazz. The publically expressed beliefs and cultural involvement of some musicians who performed in avant-garde styles during this politically and artistically tumultuous period indicate their support and promotion of the general mindset of African-American Cultural Nationalism with their choice of clothing. Using Wenger’s theory of Communities of Practice, a study of the discography of many free jazz artists shows how these musicians, working in a non-verbal form of expression, made a political statement through their choice of clothing in a show of solidarity with the African-American Cultural Nationalist movement.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Suits to Robes: A study of Free Jazz Fashion

This presentation examines the presence and significance of African-derived clothing styles among Jazz musicians in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The study primarily focuses on musicians associated with progressive strains of the musical form, such as Free Jazz. The publically expressed beliefs and cultural involvement of some musicians who performed in avant-garde styles during this politically and artistically tumultuous period indicate their support and promotion of the general mindset of African-American Cultural Nationalism with their choice of clothing. Using Wenger’s theory of Communities of Practice, a study of the discography of many free jazz artists shows how these musicians, working in a non-verbal form of expression, made a political statement through their choice of clothing in a show of solidarity with the African-American Cultural Nationalist movement.

 

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