Black American Music in Europe
Utrecht, May 1998
The European reception of Black American music was at times laden with cultural bias and was for a long time actively fought against by the authorities and the art music establishment. This fight proved to be a waste of time: by its sheer beauty, intensity and deeply touching appeal Black American music has over and over again conquered audiences. The process of mainstreamisation of black music and dance and the globalisation of American popular music resulted in gradual whitewashing of originally black elements. This inevitably has made certain genres in jazz, and the largest portion of rock, disco, house and crossover mainly identifiable as white genres.
Scholars nowadays are involved more and more in the study of the impact of Black American music in its European context and the cultural implications of this crossover. A number of interesting issues will be highlighted during this conference, the first of its kind.
Program & timings Friday 15 May 1998 09.00-10.00 Registration and coffee 10.00 Morning program: 10.00-10.15 Lutgard Mutsaers (Utrecht University): The cool tool in the identity toolbox. Past, present and future of Black American Music in Europe 10.15-10.45 Portia Maultsby (Belle van Zuylen Professor @ Utrecht University): Issues of contextuality and the Black American music aesthetic 10.45-11.30 Simon Frith (Strathclyde University, Glasgow UK): The manifold social and cultural impact of African American popular music in Europe 11.30-12.00 Coffee break 12.00-12.45 Stan Hawkins (Oslo University, Norway): Eurogrooves: texts of theft or appropriation in pop music 12.45-14.00 Lunch break 14.00 Afternoon program: 14.00-14.45 Gust de Meyer (C. University Leuven, Belgium): "Funky Town": Music radio in 1980s and 1990s Belgium; format, selection procedures and the promotion of African American dance music 14.45-15.30 Erwin Roebroeks (C. University Nijmegen, The Netherlands): The art of the dancing computer: A Techno alliance between Detroit and Berlin 15.30-16.00 Tea break 16.00-16.45 Tom Cheesman (University of Wales, Swansea UK): Elective and non-elective affinities: rappers of Germany 17.00-18.30 Drinks & music 21.00-00.00 Evening program: Location: SJU Jazzpodium, Varkenmarkt, Utrecht Live music by Alex Siegers & guest musicians Surprise premieres (Maultsby compositions) Deejays Free entrance Saturday 16 May 1998 9.00 -10.00 Registration and coffee 10.00 Morning program: 10.00-10.45 Paul Oliver (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford UK): Great expectations. The reception of the first blues singers in Europe 10.45-11.30 Scott Barretta (Lund University, Sweden): "Sweet home Stockholm": Reception of blues in the Swedish context 11.30-12.00 Coffee break 12.00-12.45 Pim Gras & Herman Openneer (Dutch Jazz Archives): "The folk music of the North American Negro": image and function of jazz in Holland during the 1930s and 1940s (to be confirmed) 12.45-14.00 Lunch break 14.00 Afternoon program: 14.00-14.45 Helen Metzelaar (Amsterdam): Spiritual fund raising: The Fisk Jubilee Singers' tour of Holland in 1877 14.45-15.30 Derek Scott (Salford University, Manchester UK): The impact of African-American music-making on the European classical tradition 15.30-16.00 Tea break 16.00-17.00 Portia Maultsby leads speakers' forum evaluation & discussion 17.00-18.30 Drinks & music