Jazz in Athens: Frustrated Cosmopolitans in a Music Subculture

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    This paper presents an ethnographic account of jazz music in Athens. The small scene under scrutiny is mainly populated by professional session instrumentalists of the Greek popular music scene who perform jazz as a side activity for their own pleasure. In the process, they construct a conceptual dichotomy between ‘work’ and ‘play’. Drawing on the author’s extended involvement in this scene, and focusing on private interviews with musicians, this article unveils the discourses of cosmopolitanism invoked through local jazz music making. The ethnographic material presented aims to illustrate how even a small subculture can serve as a terrain for contesting cosmopolitan imaginaries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-199
    Number of pages25
    JournalEthnomusicology Forum
    Issue number2
    Early online date12 Aug 2011
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Jazz
    • world music
    • Greece
    • professional musicians
    • cosmopolitanism
    • social imaginary
    • subculture


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