Codifying Jazz Manouche: A Brief History and Definition of Jazz Manouche in Relation to the Belgian and Dutch Manouche community.

Spillane, Jeremiah. 2019. 'Codifying Jazz Manouche: A Brief History and Definition of Jazz Manouche in Relation to the Belgian and Dutch Manouche community.'. In: Jazz and Cultural Identity: In and Out of Europe. UCLAN, Preston, United Kingdom 07/06/2019. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This paper aims to situate and define jazz manouche as a musical style and sub-genre within the broader history and practice of ‘jazz’ proper, to answer the broader question of ‘what is jazz manouche?’. Through discussion of the familial lineage of the Dutch and Belgian manouche musical community, this paper ultimately arrives in the hands of the multi-instrumentalist Tcha Limberger, and a case study featuring his trio, with special guest Moses Rosenberg, live at Foix, France in 2015.

Methodologically this paper draws on oral history to inform the historical element of this discussion. Drawing on themes of space (musical) and place (geographical), I plot a not well known family history of musicians in Belgium and the Netherlands, identifying key musicians and their role in the popularisation of what we refer to today as jazz manouche or ‘gypsy jazz’. In doing so, I consider how it is we understand this subgenre in relation to ‘jazz’. What does the term mean to those with whom it is culturally associated? How does this music link back to the guitarist, Django Reinhardt? And how does the emergence of what we can see today as a ‘gypsy jazz’ canon, after Reinhardt, (dis)associate itself with ‘jazz’ proper? Ultimately, this paper aims to highlight how jazz’s American origins would be translated, through this hypertextual & intermusical relationship into this European setting.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Jazz, Popular Music, Ethnomusicology, Ethnographic Fieldwork, Cultural History, Jazz Manouche, Gypsy Jazz, Sinti Jazz, Genre, Genre Rules.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Popular Music Research Unit


7 June 2019Completed

Event Location:

UCLAN, Preston, United Kingdom

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Date Deposited:

11 Jun 2019 10:13

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:15


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