The contributors to Playing for Keeps examine the ways in which musical improvisation can serve as a method for negotiating violence, trauma, systemic inequality, and the aftermaths of war and colonialism. Outlining the relation of improvisatory practices to local and global power structures, they show how in sites as varied as South Africa, Canada, Egypt, the United States, and the Canary Islands, improvisation provides the means for its participants to address the past and imagine the future. In addition to essays, the volume features a poem by saxophonist Matana Roberts, an interview with pianist Vijay Iyer about his work with U.S. veterans of color, and drawings by artist Randy DuBurke that chart Nina Simone’s politicization. Throughout, the contributors illustrate how improvisation functions as a model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action that can foster the creation of alternate modes of being and knowing in the world.
Contributors. Randy DuBurke, Rana El Kadi, Kevin Fellezs, Daniel Fischlin, Kate Galloway, Reem Abdul Hadi, Vijay Iyer, Mark Lomanno, Moshe Morad, Eric Porter, Sara Ramshaw, Matana Roberts, Darci Sprengel, Paul Stapleton, Odeh Turjman, Stephanie Vos