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Jazz Diasporas"Race, Music, and Migration in Post-World War II Paris"$
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Rashida K. Braggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279346

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279346.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Performing Jazz Diaspora with Sidney Bechet

Performing Jazz Diaspora with Sidney Bechet

(p.29) 1. Performing Jazz Diaspora with Sidney Bechet
Jazz Diasporas

Rashida K. Braggs

University of California Press

This chapter examines the later life and career of New Orleans-style clarinetist and saxophonist Sidney Bechet. The 1949 International Jazz Festival in Paris drew Bechet from New York, seducing him to return for more job opportunities. During the final decade of his life (1949–59) Bechet was transformed into a beloved king of jazz in France. Analysis of the 1949 festival, Bechet's memoir, periodical accounts, and the song “American Rhythm” reveals how Bechet constructed his own stardom by performing multiple subjectivities. Shifting among French, American, and African-descended ancestry, he achieved overwhelming success in post-World War II France by way of his ability to play to the racialized expectations and desires of the French. Bechet's life and music represents one type of jazz diaspora rooted in ethnic heritage yet wandering from one home to the next.

Keywords:   clarinetists, saxophonists, Sidney Bechet, African American jazz musicians, jazz diaspora, Paris, ethnic heritage

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