Title

The Windsor/Detroit Border Region: A Transnational Jazz Community (1940s & 1950s)

Submitter Information

Austin John Di PietroFollow

Type of Proposal

Oral Presentation

Start Date

22-3-2018 10:55 AM

End Date

22-3-2018 12:15 PM

Location

Alumni Auditorium A

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Sally Bick

Abstract/Description of Original Work

ABSTRACT: The 1950s have been called the “golden age of jazz in Detroit” on account of the role Detroit jazz musicians played in the development of the hard bop style. This sub-genre – a synthesis of R&B, gospel and blues elements with the traditional bop style – became very popular in the 1950s and quickly spread across America. Scholarship in recent years has examined Detroit’s contribution to the development of jazz, but its smaller Canadian counterpart, Windsor, has largely been ignored. The presence of an urban border facilitated a considerable amount of cultural exchange between the two cities, and cross-border advertising campaigns suggest that jazz clubs on either side of the border were attracting international audiences. This project examines the implications of the unique cultural dynamic in the Windsor-Detroit border region and tracks the development of a transnational jazz community in the 1940s and 1950s. Using GIS software, a map of relevant jazz performance venues (i.e. jazz bars, concert halls) was created to better visualize the concentration of the jazz community on both sides of the border. This study of important cultural hubs – a culmination of previous research, archival work, and interviews with local musicians – suggests that the Windsor jazz community developed as a product of the growing influences and pressures from the booming jazz scene in Detroit and grew dependent on American customers. Other issues of Americanization, cultural appropriation, and the cross-border economy are also discussed. Studying these unique relationships between transnational jazz communities generates interesting applications to multi-disciplinary work relating to understanding borders and their socio-economic impact. KEYWORDS: Borderlands, Jazz, Windsor-Detroit, Borders, GIS Software, Digital History, Musicology,

Grand Challenges

Understanding Borders

Notes

This project involved the creation of an interactive, online map using GIS software. Please feel free to take a look at the completed map here: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=82fd49cf9309456082afdba83a723696

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Mar 22nd, 10:55 AM Mar 22nd, 12:15 PM

The Windsor/Detroit Border Region: A Transnational Jazz Community (1940s & 1950s)

Alumni Auditorium A

ABSTRACT: The 1950s have been called the “golden age of jazz in Detroit” on account of the role Detroit jazz musicians played in the development of the hard bop style. This sub-genre – a synthesis of R&B, gospel and blues elements with the traditional bop style – became very popular in the 1950s and quickly spread across America. Scholarship in recent years has examined Detroit’s contribution to the development of jazz, but its smaller Canadian counterpart, Windsor, has largely been ignored. The presence of an urban border facilitated a considerable amount of cultural exchange between the two cities, and cross-border advertising campaigns suggest that jazz clubs on either side of the border were attracting international audiences. This project examines the implications of the unique cultural dynamic in the Windsor-Detroit border region and tracks the development of a transnational jazz community in the 1940s and 1950s. Using GIS software, a map of relevant jazz performance venues (i.e. jazz bars, concert halls) was created to better visualize the concentration of the jazz community on both sides of the border. This study of important cultural hubs – a culmination of previous research, archival work, and interviews with local musicians – suggests that the Windsor jazz community developed as a product of the growing influences and pressures from the booming jazz scene in Detroit and grew dependent on American customers. Other issues of Americanization, cultural appropriation, and the cross-border economy are also discussed. Studying these unique relationships between transnational jazz communities generates interesting applications to multi-disciplinary work relating to understanding borders and their socio-economic impact. KEYWORDS: Borderlands, Jazz, Windsor-Detroit, Borders, GIS Software, Digital History, Musicology,