Historical overview of the development of jazz in Portugal, in the first half of the twentieth century
The principal aim of this article is to give a historical overview of the development of jazz in Portugal during the first half of the twentieth century. As a matter of fact, little is known in the international jazz research community about Portuguese jazz historiography. Perhaps the best-known jazz-related episode was Charlie Haden’s arrest by the Portuguese political police in November 1971. However, the history of jazz in Portugal as musical and social practice is more complex than just the American musicians who visited the country. This article traces a broad perspective of the perceptions and attitudes of jazz held by musicians, aficionados and detractors, and the way in which those representations, perceptions and attitudes were conditioned by certain social-political conditions of the Portuguese history. It starts with the reception of the music in Portugal in the post-WWI years and early jazz criticism. Statements about jazz that represent the dominant positions are analysed according to the Portuguese colonial ideology of the time. It continues with the development of jazz during both the Military Dictatorship period (1926–1932) and the Portuguese Estado Novo regime’s early years (1933–1945). It concludes in the post-WWII years, with the emergence of Lisbon’s jazz scene and the foundation of Hot Club of Portugal.
Keywords: Portugal, Military Dictatorship; Estado Novo; Jazz; Reception
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