An ethnography about local working musicians in Brazil's "most African" city
Living from Music in Salvador examines the labor of musicians in Salvador da Bahia, widely regarded as Brazil's most African city. Drawing on fieldwork that spans sixteen years, the book explores local musicians' lives as members of a flexible work force, emphasizing questions of race, social class, and cultural politics in relation to professional music making. From clubs and restaurants to Carnaval parades and festival celebrations, to concert stages and recordings, the abiliy of musicians to earn a living wage is contingent on their navigating industry and societal conditions that are profoundly informed by the entrenched legacies of colonization and slavery.
JEFF PACKMAN (Toronto, Ontario, CA) is an associate professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto who specializes in Brazilian music, popular music of the Americas, and cultural theory. His other scholarly interests include music and material culture, music cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Afrodiasporic performance.
"Studies of popular music (or any sort, for that matter) have tended to focus on people who are exceptional, successful. This necessary book reminds us that most musicians are neither, yet they are by far the most common. Living from Music in Salvador helps us reorient our gaze toward workaday musicians not just in Brazil but everywhere."
"Between 'work' and 'play', from 'working to work' to performance: a provocative ethnography of professional musicians in various musical circuits of Salvador, Brazil, well known for its creative industry."