Jazz and disability

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This chapter both draws on and seeks to extend recent interdisciplinary scholarship in music and disability studies by looking at the case of jazz. It is in two parts, focusing first on discussing aspects of jazz as a music of disability, from its earliest days on. It then considers a small number of representative and contrasting major jazz figures who were disabled in some way. It seeks to further explore a question raised by the author in his 2013 book Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music and Disability: ‘Shall we say … that jazz music is predicated on disability?’
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies
EditorsNicholas Gebhardt, Nicole Rustin-Paschal, Tony Whyton
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315315805
ISBN (Print)9781138231160
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • jazz
  • disability studies
  • music

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