“Ubuntu” and Fusion Music


“Ubuntu” is an African principle of mutuality and humaneness (expressed in variations in African languages and dialects) which may be summed up as follows: “I am because you are”, or humaneness for others. We feel the fusions connecting not only diverse music genres but also artists and people from different cultures, ethnicities, and social groups. For the past 15 years, music fusions have also been a frequently used creative method in popular music. Musical grupings cross the borders between genres and create novel, fresh combinations. This trend draws on the popularity of world music and the need of today’s people to return to their historical roots.

Ubuntu” and Fusion Music

A Concept Not Only of Musical Mutuality. Sources of Inspiration, Creative Methods, and the Significance of Improvisation

International Scientific Conference

Bratislava, 19/05/2022

Venue: Comenius University, Faculty of Arts,

room no. 236, 811 02 Bratislava, Gondova 2


Schedule for 19/05/2022conference, workshop, university concert

“Ubuntu” and Fusion Music: A Concept Not Only of Musical Mutuality. Sources of Inspiration, Creative Methods, and the Significance of Improvisation

9:30 – 9:40 Opening, ass.prof. Vladimír Zvara, PhD., vicedean, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University

Chairman: Yvetta Kajanová

9:40 – 10:20 Luca Cerchiari, keynote speaker (IULM University, Milan) Ethnic music and jazz, past and present. A general theoretical approach and a focus on multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef

10:20 – 10:40 Petr Dorůžka (Czech Republic), Musical Fusion throughout the History, from Qawwali via Gospel to Bolivian Baroque

10:40 – 11:00 Franco Fabbri (IULM University, Milan, Huddersfield UK University), Preparing an indigestible dish: Macchina Maccheronica and Rock in opposition as a genre

11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break

Chairman: Luca Cerchiari

11:20 – 11: 40 Yvetta Kajanová (Comenius University, Bratislava), Ethnic Music and American-Slovak Jazz, Eugen Botoš Finally, Radovan Tariška Folklore to Jazz, Hanka G project

11:40 – 12:00 Jana Belišová (Comenius University, Bratislava), afterPhurikane: A multi-ethnic music project inspired by ancient Romani songs

12:00-12:40 Petter Frost Fadnes (University of Stavanger, Norway), Nils Henrik Asheim (Norway), Sitting in a Circle: The Angrusori ‘method’ and hybridity in practice

12:40 – 13:00 Jana Ambrósová (Constantine The Philosoper University, Nitra), Hybridity, Fusion, Tradition: Contemporary Roma Musical Landscapes in Slovakia.

13:00 – 13:15 Discussion

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:30 – 16:00 Workshop – Iva Bittová (Czech Republic), Faculty of Arts, Comenius University, Gondova 2, room 350

17:30 – 18:30 Dinner

19:00 -19:45 Soundcheck

20:00 – 21:30 Concert, Moyzes Hall, Vajanské nábrežie 12, Bratislava

21:30 – 22:30 Reception


“Ubuntu” and Fusion Music: A Concept Not Only of Musical Mutuality. Sources of Inspiration, Creative Methods, and the Significance of Improvisation


The term fusion music largely referred to late 1960s jazz and rock music blendings although at that time jazz rock, rock jazz, or crossover were the preferred terminology. However, with the appearance of 1980s tendency to constantly push the boundaries of jazz into ethnic fields, “fusion music” began to be widely adopted. New expressions such as pop jazz, funk, electric jazz, and later derogatory terms like eclectic jazz, or even those of smooth jazz, acid jazz, nu jazz, or electro jazz, which gave rise to conflicting interpretations, also came to the forefront. Several problems were solved by introducing the term world music which was, however, accepted by many only as a commercial label.

Side by side with these external characteristics, composition and improvisation have been also changing in ethnic music, jazz, rock music, classical music, and other genres.

Since the emergence of postmodernism, the compositional approach in jazz, rock, and  contemporary music styles and genres has undergone significant changes. Its characteristics are shifting from “opus perfectum et absolutum” with precise notation to improvised expressions. This is occurring not only in jazz, where musicians choose between improvisation and notated arrangements, but also in classical music with composers favouring  improvisation instead of the previously preferred notation. Contemporary music writers opt for a compromise between these two approaches, often being in the role of performer. Contemporary compositional techniques in jazz, rock, blues, country, and modern classical music embrace the fields of composition, improvisation, comprovisation, arrangement, hybrids, variants, cover versions, remixes, productions, etc. Classical, along with modern software analyses and the identification of aesthetic attributes and historical contexts of compositions are the key to understanding these phenomena.

The conference aims to answer the questions as to whether fusion music is still relevant today in Europe and in the world, in which genres and styles, and whether the current situation is similar to or reminiscent of the early history melting pot of jazz in the USA. 

Some papers will be based on their authors´ musical and creative practices and will point out the artistic processes and the significance of improvisation in the genesis of a new composition. Another group of contributors will bring theoretical knowledge and new information about fusion trends in the world of contemporary music.


Concept: Mgr. Jana Belišová, PhD., prof. Yvetta Kajanová, PhD.


Supported by the VEGA Grant 1/0015/19 (Composition in the Context of Jazz, Rock, 20th-Century European Music, and the Present)


We would like to dedicate this conference to the memory of the African percussionist

Thierry Ebam (b. in Central African Republic,  d.  01/12/2021 in Bratislava), long-term friend and collaborator in several music projects (e.g., afterPhurikane) implemented by the Žudro Civic Association.


The conference is part of the Angrusori project (one of the Žudro initiatives), which has been prepared in collaboration with the Department of Musicology of the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University, Bratislava.

The Angrusori fuses Norwegian musicians of the Kitchen Orchestra, the Czech singer Iva Bittová, the Slovak multi-instrumentalist Roman Harvan, and amateur Romani musicians from Eastern Slovakia.


The Angrusori concerts in Bratislava, the workshop, and the conference have been organized in conjuction with the 7th Bratislava World Music Festival.

Organizing staff: Jarmila Vlčková, Jana Belišová, and Veronika Zsideková

Schedule of the Angrusori Tour in Slovakia, May 2022

16/05/2022 Travel
17/05/2022 Rehearsal, Bratislava
18/05/2022 Rehearsal, Bratislava
18/05/2022 Rehearsal, Bratislava
19/05/2022 Conference (opening event) – in collaboration with the Department of Musicology of the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University
19/05/2022 Workshop/concert, room 350, Moyzes Hall – in collaboration with the Department of Musicology of the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University
20/05/2022 Concert, Synagóga in Žilina
21/05/2022 Concert, Úsmev cinema, Košice
22/05/2022 Travel