Jam sessions in Manhattan as rituals


  • Ricardo Nuno Futre Pinheiro Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa, Universidade Nova de Lisboa




ethnomusicology, jam session, jazz, ritual


This paper addresses the relationships between jazz jam sessions in Manhattan and the concepts of scene, ritual and race. These issues emerged during research that, from an ethnomusicological perspective, focused on the role of jam sessions in Manhattan as a privileged context for learning the performative styles of jazz, the development of the creative process, the construction of professional networks and the establishment of the status of musicians. Starting from the analysis of five venues of jazz performance in Manhattan, New York, arguably the most important stage for jazz performance in the world, I demonstrate the importance of participating in jam sessions in the professional careers of jazz musicians by examining their relationship with this performative occasion.

Author Biography

Ricardo Nuno Futre Pinheiro, Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Ricardo Pinheiro teaches at the Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa, and is the Director of its Jazz and Contemporary Music Program. He is also the Director of the Master in Music Pedagogy (Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa and Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra da Metropolitana). He also teaches at the Escola Superior de Músicade Lisboa (Music/Jazz Program). He is the author of two books: Perpetuating the Music: Entrevistas e Reflexões Sobre Jam Sessions (Porto: Papiro Editora, 2013) and Jazz Fora de Horas: Jam Sessions em Nova Iorque (Lisbon: Universidade Lusíada Editora, 2012).


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How to Cite

Pinheiro, R. N. F. (2013). Jam sessions in Manhattan as rituals. Jazz Research Journal, 6(2), 129–150. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.v6i2.129