Jazz’s little brother

The origins of the Spanish blues scene


  • Josep Pedro University Complutense de Madrid


blues, jazz, history, appropriation, hybridization, Spain


Drawing on ethnographic, archival and analytical research, this article examines the origins of the blues scene in Spain. A complex, heterogeneous period that spans from the 1930s to the 1980s, the origins are explored diachronically in relation to four primary aspects: the reception of blues through the growing jazz scene; the national production of blues and blues-related music within the frameworks of jazz, rock and flamenco; the transformative contributions of foreign musicians and cultural producers; and the ultimate development of specialized blues bands that represent a more ‘purist’ appropriation of blues as an autonomous genre. In this process, the article provides a historical overview and a musical mapping of blues in Spain, revealing its unique contribution to modernity as a meaningful, porous common ground between the hegemonic jazz and rock music cultures.

Author Biography

Josep Pedro, University Complutense de Madrid

Josep Pedro is a member of the research group Semiotics, Communication and Culture at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Spain). He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and at Birmingham City University. He has published articles in journals such as Atlantic Studies, Signa and IASPM Journal, and has written chapters in the volumes Talking Back to Globalization: Texts and Practices, Jazz and Totalitarianism, and The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter.


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How to Cite

Pedro, J. (2020). Jazz’s little brother: The origins of the Spanish blues scene. Jazz Research Journal, 12(2), 193–212. Retrieved from https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JAZZ/article/view/17097




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