"Yellow Jazz, Black Music" with Marketus Presswood


Manage episode 302579263 series 1181274
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This week Jeremiah and David catch up with an old friend, China history scholar Marketus Presswood., who has just released a documentary on jazz in China entitled Yellow Jazz, Black Music, available on Vimeo. Based on years of research and extensive interviews, the documentary traces the influx and development of jazz music in China, from the Shanghai ballrooms of the 1920s to a resurgence in the urban nightclubs of the Reform-and-Opening period, and finally to the art form's flourishing in a new globalized, high-tech China.

Marketus provides a fascinating description of the lives of the African-American jazz musicians in Republican Era Shanghai, including the experiences of Langston Hughes, who visited the city in 1934 and interacting with the stars of the local jazz scene. We also discuss the difficulties of Chinese musicians in accessing and mastering the art form, the social and artistic impact of jazz on Chinese culture, and the possibilities of a new kind of "jazz with Chinese characteristics."

Links to:

Website for the film:


Yellow Jazz, Black Music on Vimeo:


The Yellow Jazz Black Music Spotify music site:


Jeremiah on Langston Hughes in Shanghai


David on Jazz in China


Marketus on "Being Black in China"


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