Jam sessions in Madrid’s blues scene: musical experience in hybrid performance models


  • Josep Pedro Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) - Complutense University of Madrid




jam session, Madrid, blues, presentational, participatory, performance


Examining the differences between presentational and participatory music, this paper explores the importance of jam sessions as hybrid performance models and collective musical practices. As such, they display democratic and hierarchic devices that produce complex social and cultural settings, providing particular frameworks for community gathering and interaction between the different participants. Based on my field research in the Madrid’s blues scene, where jam sessions have gained a dominant widespread, I will discuss two significant and distinct jams that take place every Sunday. The aim is to practically analyse what type of musical experiences and relationships they produce, considering the significance of the blues genre production and the underground status of the scene. Overall, I intend to broaden the academic interpretations of jam sessions, suggesting hybridity as a theoretical framework for analysing the social life of situated live music experiences in different genres.

Author Biography

Josep Pedro, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) - Complutense University of Madrid

Josep Pedro is music writer and scholar based in Madrid, Spain. I have an undergraduate five-year degree in Audiovisual Communications at the University of Valencia. During August-December 2010 I was an international student in the University of Texas at Austin. I have a Masters degree in "Sociocultural Analysis of knowledge and communication" at the Complutense Univeristy of Madrid, and I am currently a doctorate student, working on my Ph.D. thesis about the blues scenes in Madrid (Spain) and Austin, Texas. I combine my scholar labor with collaborations in international and national music press and organizations (All About Jazz, Diverse Arts Culture Works, Ruta 66, Efe Eme, Mondo Sonoro...).


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