A Night in Tunisia or Jazz as World Music
Oriental music influences on jazz origins and development


  • event type: WOMEX 12 Conference
  • start date: 19 Oct 2012
  • time: 11:00 - 11:45
  • city/area: Thessaloniki
  • venue: Helexpo, Room C (Pav. 8)
  • country: Greece
  • event submitted by: Piranha Arts (WOMEX)

Session 8

Traditional jazz histories mention an "African" contribution to its birth, but talking of "African music" makes little sense, so diverse are the traditions in the continent, where not always the drums play a central role. When the slave trade was initiated by the European colonial powers in order to provide free labour for the New World, West Africa had been Islamised or influenced by Islamic civilisation for almost one thousand years. This had a direct impact on African-American music in the New World. Latin music also comes from an area where the Moors established a rich civilisation for 500 years. Some key words in jazz history are meaningfully related to Arabic; memories of the Muslim slaves provide a context, and selected recordings highlight early similarities and the open attempts to reconnect with Oriental music in jazz.



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