Jazz musicians’ emotional attitude towards their profession and creativity in old age

Ljubica Milosavljević

Apstrakt: One of the goals of the fieldwork research into the strategies of acting of jazz musicians conducted in the form of in-depth interviews in Belgrade since 2012 is to examine the ways in which they emotionally experience their own profession and creativity in old age. The number of currently active jazz performers in Belgrade ranges from fifty to one hundred, about a dozen of whom are in retiree status. It is the narratives of the latter that have been used to gain insight into the attitude of the older generation of jazzers towards the limitations imposed on them by old age, when the latter is understood as a social construct. What is characteristic of this professional group, however, is that the social restrictions habitually faced by persons who have formally withdrawn from active working life do not apply to them in most cases. On the contrary, the interlocutors emphasize the feelings of happiness and pleasure derived from the fact that they are “allowed” to work and be creative in their old age. What adds to those feelings is the chronically unstable socioeconomic situation on the Serbian jazz scene as well as the awareness that the distinctive nature of their profession puts them in the privileged position of being able not only to supplement their retirement income but also to express their creativity and preserve their social relationships. Resulting from all these circumstances is preserved quality of life, which is at especial risk of deterioration in old age.

Ključne reči: jazz musicians, happiness, pleasure, old age, quality of life

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Етнолошко-антрополошке свеске, y. 2018, no. 18 (29), pp. 7-21