Jazz and the “Popular Front”: “Swing” Musicians and the Left‐Wing Movement of the 1930s–1940s

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Jazz and the “Popular Front”: “Swing” Musicians and the Left‐Wing Movement of the 1930s–1940s
Jazz Perspectives
3
35-56
2009/04
eng
1749-4060, 1749-4079
This paper locates the jazz music of the 1930s and 1940s within the context of the radical political movement of that era. During the Depression, America's pre‐eminent African American community, Harlem, underwent a profound political transformation, emerging as a center of the left‐wing “Popular Front” social movement. Many of Harlem's residents, especially among the community's intelligentsia, found themselves attracted to the left‐wing milieu centered around the Communist Party. By the late 1930s, Communist‐led organizations in Harlem and elsewhere were frequently featuring jazz bands at their social functions and benefits. It was in this context that many musicians, including several of the most prominent jazz musicians and bandleaders of the Swing Era, became actively engaged in the left‐wing milieu of the 1930s and 1940s.
1
Jazz Perspectives
10.1080/17494060902778118
Jazz and the “Popular Front”
2019-11-11T17:25:09Z
DOI.org (Crossref)