Voices from the Jazz Wilderness

Jessica Bissett Perea

in Jazz/Not Jazz

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271036
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951358 | DOI:
Voices from the Jazz Wilderness

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Since their emergence in the Pacific Northwest nearly four decades ago, vocal jazz ensembles have flourished, creating a regional focal point of innovative performance and pedagogical practice at both the secondary and collegiate levels. The quality of this vocal jazz community is widely recognized, but attempts to identify with both the Western choral tradition and mainstream instrumental jazz place these ensembles at odds with each parent tradition. This chapter traces the development of Pacific Northwest vocal jazz ensembles—such as those led by Hal Malcolm and John Moawad—and examines aesthetic dissonances underpinning vocal jazz's orphan-like status, including deeply entrenched musical, cultural, and gender biases within educational institutions and conventional jazz narratives.

Keywords: jazz; vocal jazz; jazz choirs; Hal Malcolm; John Moawad; Pacific Northwest; gender

Chapter.  7205 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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