Click here to download pdf of the full article (36 pgs, 1.4 mb)


Journal of the
Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association
Volume 14, Number 1 (2014)

Beyond Jamming: A Historical and Analytical Perspective on the Creative Process

Monika Herzig, Indiana University
David Baker, Indiana University


    The process of the jazz jam session was analyzed from a historical and social perspective based on literature reviews, oral histories, interviews, and survey results. The analysis produced seven factors that facilitate the successful outcome of a jazz jam session. The factors include individual competence and knowledge of the field, practicing improvisation as the ability to overcome self-consciousness, establishing a mentoring system and role models, democracy and collaboration, leaders and sidemen, community support, and a continuous evaluation system. Each factor was defined and exemplified towards a model for group creativity with suggestions for further research and applications.