Books of Interest

I Wonder as I Wander

Langston Hughes

Hughes’s chapter on his two-week stay in Shanghai is one of the most entertaining and insightful first-hand accounts of traveling in Shanghai in the early 1930s. He met and hung out with some of the Black jazz musicians and international sojourners who were living and working in Shanghai at the time. 

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World

Buck Clayton

Buck Clayton took a job that was initially earmarked for Duke Ellington(Ellington had to turn down the China gig because he signed a contract with a Hollywood movie studio to appear in the film Check and Double Check). Clayton boarded a liner for Shanghai in 1934 and spent a few years making a great living in Shanghai in the mid 1930s before the start of WW II. Clayton’s chapter on his time in Shanghai is a great read!


YELLOW MUSIC: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age

Andrew Jones, PhD

Jones’s examination of the politics and culture of the mediation of jazz, Chinese folk and popular music’s hybridity, and entanglement with Chinese musicians and the urban populace in semi-colonized China is a must-read.

Shanghai's Dancing World: Cabaret Culture and Urban Politics 1919-1954

Andrew Field, PhD

Field’s Shanghai Dancing World is one the most detailed accounts of the dance culture in Shanghai in the first half of the twentieth century.



Taylor Atkins, PhD

At the heart of this book is the age-old story about authenticity, appropriation, and the rights to play jazz couched in the history of the jazz music in Japan from the 1920s through the 1990s. 

Taj Mahal Foxtrot

Naresh Fernandes

One definitely does not associate jazz with India, but Fernandes’s book details the long history of jazz in that country. We also see some familiar faces from the Shanghai jazz scene pop up in India.

Shanghai's Dancing World: Cabaret Culture and Urban Politics 1919-1954

E. Taylor Atkins, PhD

This collection of essays on jazz around the world is very informing about the tapestry of the many layers of jazz in different cultures and societies.





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