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 Gwyn A. Williams in 1985, who asked `When Was Wales?'). If jazz is described as `the music of protest and rebellion', then there was certainly plenty going on during the jazz age in Wales.
Jen Wilson is a jazz pianist and founder of Jazz Heritage Wales, based at UWTSD Swansea.
Dedication Foreword Preface Acknowledgements Illustrations Introduction The Life, Times and Music of Abolitionist Jessie Donaldson (1799-1889) Doing the Plantation Walkaround Skedaddle The Fisk Jubilee Singers in Wales, Freed Slaves and their Songs Ragtime and the Cake Walk: On Stage and in the Workhouse The First World War: Ragtime Trenches and Suffragettes Cafe Society: The Jazz Age Cutting a Rug to the Second World War: Jews and `Negro Morals' Fair Treatment for the `Fair Sex'? Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index