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FREEDOM MUSIC Wales Emancipation and Jazz 1850-1950

Published May 2019 by University of Wales Press.

This book reclaims for Wales the history and culture of a music that eventually emerged as jazz in the 1920s, its tendrils and roots extending back to slave songs and abolition campaign songs, and Swansea’s long-forgotten connection with Cincinnati, Ohio. The main themes of the book are to illustrate and emphasise the strong links between emerging African American music in the USA and the development of jazz in mainstream popular culture in Wales; the emancipation and contribution of Welsh women to the music and its social-cultural heritage; and an historical appraisal as the music journeyed towards the Second World War and into living memory. The jazz story is set amid the politics, socio-cultural and feminist history of the time from whence the music emerged – which begs the question ‘When Was Jazz?’ to echo the question posed by Gwyn Alf Williams in 1985 ‘When Was Wales?’ If jazz is described as ‘the music of protest and rebellion’, then there was certainly plenty of that going on during the jazz age in Wales.

FREEDOM MUSIC Wales Emancipation and Jazz 1850-1950

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