New Book Examines Jewish Identity and Jazz Music

Posted on December 4th, 2016
Written by JV Staff


Presents first comprehensive analysis of how jazz has been used to explore Jewish experience


Jazz history includes numerous contributions from Jewish artists, from Benny Goodman to John Zorn, who have played a major role in the development of the music from its birth in New Orleans to the present day. However, there has been little examination of why so many Jewish musicians gravitated to jazz or how they used the music to explore Jewish identity and experience.

Jews and Jazz: Improvising Ethnicity, a new book by Charles Hersch, chair of the Department of Political Science at Cleveland State University, seeks to answer these questions and shed light on how jazz music reflected and influenced “Jewishness” in 20th Century America.

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