CONFERENCE THE EARLY DAYS OF JAZZ IN MADRID
Thursday 5th November
7pm – National Library of Spain
Biblioteca Nacional de España. Salón de Actos, Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Nowadays, jazz is a highly respectable musical genre. It is even the subject of academic studies and schools and universities offer courses on its history. It can be heard everywhere: on the radio, TV, records, the Internet… During the first decades of the 20th century, however, it was little more than an outlet for the privileged classes, a record that snobs would hail as revolutionary, a solo artist whose work stood out in what was otherwise a group of little substance.
Jazz found its way to Madrid from Paris, whose light eventually illuminated the whole of Europe. An emerging group of black artists were laying down the soundtrack to the world between the wars. A complex magma of styles which, in strict conceptual purity, turned out to be the substratum from which jazz was born among us: fox-trot, Charleston, cake-walk, ragtime… all of which, as their detractors were wont to say, were “disjointed” rhythms. Above and beyond the music, above and beyond its protagonists, these new sounds inaugurated a new epic, and it was jazz that released all that energy.