The contributors to Playing for Keeps examine the ways in which musical improvisation can serve as a method for negotiating violence, trauma, systemic inequality, and the aftermaths of war and colonialism. Outlining the relation of improvisatory practices to local and global power structures, they show how in sites as varied as South Africa, Canada, Egypt, the United States, and the Canary Islands, improvisation provides the means for its participants to address the past and imagine the future. In addition to essays, the volume features a poem by saxophonist Matana Roberts, an interview with pianist Vijay Iyer about his work with U.S. veterans of color, and drawings by artist Randy DuBurke that chart Nina Simone's politicization. Throughout, the contributors illustrate how improvisation functions as a model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action that can foster the creation of alternate modes of being and knowing in the world.
Contributors. Randy DuBurke, Rana El Kadi, Kevin Fellezs, Daniel Fischlin, Kate Galloway, Reem Abdul Hadi, Vijay Iyer, Mark Lomanno, Moshe Morad, Eric Porter, Sara Ramshaw, Matana Roberts, Darci Sprengel, Paul Stapleton, Odeh Turjman, Stephanie Vos
- Playing for Keeps: An Introduction
- One. Manifesto
- Two. The Exhibition of Vandalizim: Improvising Healing, Politics, and Film in South Africa
- Three. The Rigors of Afro/Canarian Jazz: Sounding Peripheral Vision with Severed Tongues
- Four. “Opening Up a Space That Maybe Wouldn’t Exist Otherwise”/Holding It Down in the Aftermath
- Five. Experimental and Improvised Norths: The Sonic Geographies of Tanya Tagaq’s Collaborations with Derek Charke and the Kronos Quartet
- Six. Nina Simone: CIVIL JAZZ!
- Seven. Free Improvised Music in Postwar Beirut: Differential Sounds, Intersectarian Collaborations, and Critical Collective Memory
- Eight. Street Concerts and Sexual Harassment in Post-Mubarak Egypt: Ṭarab as Affective Politics
- Nine. Improvisation, Grounded Humanity, and Witnessing in Palestine: An Interview with Al-Mada’s Odeh Turjman and Reem Abdul Hadi
- Ten. Silsulim (Improvised “Curls”) in the Vocal Performance of Israeli Popular Music: Identity, Power, and Politics
- Eleven. Three Moments in Kī Hō‘alu (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar): Improvising as a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) Adaptive Strategy
- Twelve. From Prepeace to Postconflict: The Ethics of (Non)Listening and Cocreation in a Divided Society