Two Jazz Explosions

How the role of jazz was transformed in the UK and in Israel

Veronika Harcsa by Eszter Fruzsina Nagy
André Marmot by Greg de Wode
Barak Weiss
  • event type:WOMEX 20 Conference Session
  • date:24 Oct 2020
  • time:15:30 - 16:30 CEST
  • venue:Online Event
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts

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Chaired by Veronika Harcsa (Hungary), singer-songwriter
with André Marmot (UK), agent/writer, Earth Agency
Barak Weiss (Israel), artistic director, Tel Aviv Jazz Festival

Between 1992-2002 a big bang took place in Israeli music history: in only ten years local jazz has developed from low-key to potent and flourishing, and bands have become part of the international festival scene. During this decade the unique sound of Israeli jazz was created, which has since been recognised and admired worldwide.

Meanwhile in the UK, by the mid 90s many people saw jazz as elitist, white, middle aged and extremely uncool. But the boom of 2014-2020 rejuvenated its image, with a new generation of UK jazz artists playing major festivals the world over - not just jazz festivals but pop and electronic ones too. What were the driving forces of these two explosions? How did role models, mentors and grassroots organisations shape the scene? What was the social and cultural context, and what can other countries learn from these amazing stories?