Soul, Afrofuturism & the Timeliness of Contemporary Jazz Fusions

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The rise of jazz-R&B-hip hop fusions in contemporary Los Angeles offers an opportunity to reflect on the ways jazz matters to black audiences today. Drawing on recent Afrofuturist art and theory as well as on Amiri Baraka’s analysis of the “changing same” in black music, this essay traces out the significance of work by artists as diverse as Kamasi Washington, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and Robert Glasper, positing that their music tells us that jazz matters not only in itself, but also in its continuing capacity to engage in cross-genre dialogues for musicians and audiences who hear it as part of a rich continuum of African American musical expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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