“High Life in Club Afrique”: London Encounters between Musicians from Africa, the Caribbean, and Great Britain Associated with the Melodisc Label and Club Afrique

This research project examines the encounter between musicians from Africa, the Caribbean, and Great Britain associated with the Melodisc record company and Club Afrique, in the period between 1950 and 1965. The complex cultural and creative implications of this confluence (affecting British culture since the 1950s and influencing the development of African popular music as well as transnational pop music of recent decades) have not yet been adequately studied. The nature of the communicative and interculturally constructive encounter – unusual for its time in view of a sharp increase in postwar racism in Great Britain – has been widely ignored. Hence, this research project concerns a significant phase of the intercultural history of Great Britain and Europe and suggests the mediating effect of popular music, which later develops into transnational pop music.

Term of Project: 2004-Ongoing
Since Sept. 2005 funded through the DFG

Project Members:
Prof. Wolfgang Bender (Ethnology and African Studies)
Dr. Gordon Collier (British Studies, University of Gießen)
Dr. Markus Coester (Ethnology)