Jazz, Gender, Historiography : A Case Study of the "Golden Age" of Jazz in Montreal (1925-1955)

Type of resource
Jazz, Gender, Historiography : A Case Study of the "Golden Age" of Jazz in Montreal (1925-1955)
The author maps the interaction between jazz, identity, modernity and nation during the so-called "golden age" of jazz in Montreal (1925-1955). Drawing on the fields of musicology, women's studies (Black feminist theory and feminist research methods in particular), critical dance studies, and cultural studies, the author provides a critical re-writing of the history of Montreal jazz, one which acknowledges various roles that racialized and ethnicized women played in the shaping of modern identities, pleasures and sounds in Quebec. She notes that Montreal's particular status as a "showtown" during this thirty-year period makes it a rich laboratory to study the collaborative creative relationships between jazz music and dance on the Black variety stage in the first half of the twentieth century. The author also maps the specific parameters that articulate the discursive relationship between jazz and vice, in particular as these relate to the gendered and racialized embodiment of morality in interwar Quebec. Finally, the author produces the first extensive biographical accounts and critical listening of several prominent Montreal-based female jazz artists, including pianists Vera Guilaroff and Ilene Bourne, all-girl groups such as The Spencer Sisters and the Montreal Melody Girls Orchestra, Black women performers such as Tina Baines Brereton, Bernice Jordan Whims, Marie-Claire Germain, Mary Brown, Natalie Ramirez, as well as piano teacher Daisy Peterson Sweeney and dance teachers Ethel Bruneau and Olga Spencer Foderingham.
PhD dissertation
McGill University
# of Pages
v-293-[11] p.
Blais-Tremblay, Vanessa. “Jazz, Gender, Historiography : A Case Study of the ‘Golden Age’ of Jazz in Montreal (1925-1955).” PhD dissertation, McGill University, 2018. https://escholarship-test.mcgill.ca/concern/theses/12579v62c?locale=en.
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