Migration of Central European musicians exemplified by John Dopyera, Diana Krall, Andreas Varady, and Celeste Buckingham

Title: Migration of Central European musicians exemplified by John Dopyera, Diana Krall, Andreas Varady, and Celeste Buckingham
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2022, vol. 57, iss. 1, pp. 57-74
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
The author examines the different reasons behind the emigration of musicians from the territory of today's Slovak Republic during various eras. The migration of Slovak people from the Austro-Hungarian Empire around the end of the 19th century was largely motivated by economic factors. Ideological doctrines that constrained free artistic thinking propelled another wave of emigration during the former socialist Czechoslovakia (1948–1989). After the birth of the Slovak Republic (1993), migratory movements continued especially with Czech and Slovak jazzmen trying to establish themselves on the global scene. The examples of departing artists (John Dopyera, the inventor of the resophonic Dobro guitar; Diana Krall, jazz pianist and singer; Andreas Varady, a jazz guitarist of Romani origin; and Celeste Buckingham, a singer with multicultural ancestry) contribute to the debate on migration’s cultural and artistic significance. The author discusses the instrumentalist approach to the issue of ethnicity for those globally successful artists who pragmatically stress the appropriate element of their ethnic background relevant to the circumstances. Additionally, the article gives attention to the primordialist aspects and emotional issues relating to the ethnicity of those Slovak musicians whose success abroad was only localized.
  • This paper has been supported by the VEGA grant No. 1/0015/19.
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