'Low-budget cosmopolitanism': live jazz in recession Athens.

Georgia Vavva

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This doctoral thesis, looking into the live jazz of Athens in the post-2010 period, contributes to the literature of music and globalization by providing an ethnographic example of a musical subculture being put abruptly under economic restraint and forced to operate within a socioeconomic environment distinctly different than the previous one. Based on twelve months of fieldwork, it focuses on three key agents of change within this period: the city, the musicians and the venue owners. In this thesis I explore questions regarding the relation of the local to the global, cosmopolitanism from below and value transformations that occurred during the recession, in the interplay between the Greek popular music industry and jazz, or what could be described in Slobin’s terms as superculture and subculture respectively. In particular, I focus on the phenomenon of the rise of small-scale music making that came as a result of the decline of the superculture (Greek popular music), where many high-skilled jazz musicians were employed. As I argue, during the transition from a period of economic development to one of sweeping economic decline musicians and venue owners, being forced to engage into the ‘politics of value’ and re-establish what it is that makes life worth living, are collectively creating a ‘low-budget cosmopolitanism’, pointing towards a new ethos in the live jazz scene of the Greek capital.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Music
  • Ramnarine, Tina K., Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Nov 2019
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019


  • jazz
  • economic crisis
  • Athens
  • Greece
  • live music
  • ethnography
  • ethnomusicology
  • anthropology of music
  • professional musicians
  • jazz venues
  • Globalization
  • cosmopolitanism
  • Value Theory

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