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Central to the American narrative of freedom and innovation, jazz’s history is at the same time disturbed by the contradiction of a nation struggling to recognize the key contributions of U.S. black musicians to the form. Black musicians, in turn, invoke the world to validate their resourceful and creative engagement outside national borders. This essay traces this invocatory practice in the works of W. C. Handy, Dizzy Gillespie, and Wynton Marsalis, showing their musical resourcefulness to be inextricable from the nation’s imperial proclivities. Musicians engage an intersensory, affective, cognitive, discursive, material, perceptual, and rhetorical network that Moreno calls aurality as they are conscripted by the nation to consolidate a musical archive that, however linked to the nation’s imperial extractive tendencies worldwide, must constantly be consigned to the national treasure. Co-signing this archive is a world that musicians struggle to recognize as fundamental to jazz.

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