About the book

Jazz manouche—a genre known best for its energetic, guitar-centric swing tunes—is among France’s most celebrated musical practices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It centers on the recorded work of famed guitarist Django Reinhardt and is named for the ethnoracial subgroup of Romanies (also known, often pejoratively, as “Gypsies”) to which Reinhardt belonged. French Manouches are publicly lauded as bearers of this jazz tradition, and many take pleasure and pride in the practice while at the same time facing pervasive discrimination. Jazz manouche uncovers a contradiction at the heart of France’s assimilationist republican ideals: the music is portrayed as quintessentially French even as Manouches themselves endure treatment as racial others.

 

In Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France, Siv B. Lie explores how this music is used to construct divergent ethnoracial and national identities in a context where discussions of race are otherwise censured. Weaving together ethnographic and historical analysis, Lie shows that jazz manouche becomes a source of profound ambivalence as it generates ethnoracial difference and socioeconomic exclusion. As the first full-length ethnographic study of French jazz to be published in English, this book enriches anthropological, ethnomusicological, and historical scholarship on global jazz, race and ethnicity, and citizenship while showing how music can be an important but insufficient tool in struggles for racial and economic justice.

About the author

Siv B. Lie (“seev bee lee”; she/her) is assistant professor of music at the University of Maryland. Her research in ethnomusicology and linguistic anthropology explores relationships between cultural production, race, and politics. She has published in Ethnomusicology, The Journal of the American Musicological Society, Popular Music and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Jazz and Culture, and French Cultural Studies. She is co-founder and Principal Coordinator of the Initiative for Romani Music at New York University and a curator of the Music section of RomArchive. She is also a violinist, violist, and vocalist. Learn more about her work at sivblie.com.