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Jazz and Death: Reception, Rituals and Representations by Walter van de Leur (Routledge 2023) has been nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for its annual Jazz Awards

The title might seem a tad non-felicitous, but it surely invites reflection. How do we respond to and commemorate jazz musicians' deaths? In what ways do these rituals manifest themselves from one place and from one culture to another? Most significantly, what do the various responses to jazz deaths reveal about wider jazz culture—the traditions, heritage, commercialization, historicizing and mythologies?

Walter van de Leur, Professor of Jazz and Improvised Music at the University of Amsterdam, unpacks these weighty questions in a revealing study that, in the way of the best academic works, invites a serious rethink on the meanings underpinning behaviors and beliefs surrounding jazz and death.

The Jazz Journalists Association launches its annual Jazz Awards season with announcement of 12 nominees and nine Honorable Mentions in two categories of Book of the Year (2023) Awards. Winners of the “Best Biography/Autobiography Award” and “Best Book of History, Criticism, Culture Award” will be determined by voting of the JJA’s approximately 250 international active members. Jazz and Death has been nominated in the “Best Book of History, Criticism, Culture Award” category.