Wilkie’s Story

Dominant Histories, Hidden Musicians, and Cosmopolitan Connections in Jazz

Authored by: Tony Whyton

The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138231160
eBook ISBN: 9781315315805
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the relationship between established traditions and hidden histories to explore ways in which local musicians play a part in creating, informing, and disrupting dominant narratives. I draw on the family archive as a basis for discussing the complexity of jazz histories and the role that hidden musicians play in the ecologies of jazz. Personal archival materials can provide compelling examples of hidden musicians who contribute to the development of jazz in multidimensional ways. Wilkie’s story points to the need both to unearth “other” stories of local musicians—the hidden histories that don’t always form part of official narratives but that can breathe new life into an established discourse—and to think about relationships and connections between individuals and collectives, the past and the present, and the local and the global. This chapter aims to start a conversation about the realities of the jazz world, the connectedness of people in different cultural settings, and the development of jazz as a transnational practice.

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