[NEWS] Sebastian Scotney speaks on Jazz Research at BCU’s growth + more!

titel1115bigIn the latest edition of german magazine Jazzthetik,Sebastian Scotney has given some insight into the growth of Jazz Research at BCU. The London Jazz News editor said:

“They told me that so many active jazz researchers publish at Birmingham City University today that they probably have the largest capacity in Europe for Jazz Research – bigger than the University of Graz , which held this status so far .”

(Sebastian Scotney)

The full article (Jazzthetik p. 58 / Nov-Dec Edition No. 267) is available from any well-stocked newsagents now!

Image credits: Jazzthetik website

[CFP] ‘Miles Davis and John Coltrane at 90: Retrospect and Prospect’

It has recently been announced by The Department of Music and Media at the University of Surrey that they will be hosting a three-day conference called ‘Miles Davis and John Coltrane at 90: Retrospect and Prospect’ taking place 21st–23rd October 2016.

Our very own Professor Tony Whyton (Birmingham City University/ Jazz research at BCU) is a keynote speaker alongside Ingrid Monson ( Harvard University) 

The conference aims to undertake a wide-ranging scholarly and creative investigation of the music, history, legacy, cultural significance and wider socio-political, artistic and intellectual contexts of these two giants of jazz.

The conference committee invites proposals for scholarly, research-led contributions on any aspect of this theme.

As well as, proposals focusing directly on Davis and Coltrane, proposals are welcomed in which either of the two artists might serve as important springboards for the discussion of, or creative response to, wider cultural issues or other specific, related artists and musics.

Submission via e-mail to Jeremy Barham at: j.barham@surrey.ac.uk by Friday 29 January, 2016.

Notification of acceptance will be given by 26 February, 2016.

Click here for more information

[NEWS] National Jazz Archive awarded 83k for 2016 project

We would like to congratulate The National Jazz Archive who were awarded £83,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project, commencing in January 2016.

From the help of National Lottery players, The National Jazz Archive will be giving people the opportunity to learn about and contribute to the National Jazz Archive through a programme of performance, oral history and reminiscence.

“This is a great result for a magnificent team effort. The HLF award is a tremendous endorsement of the National Jazz Archive. It recognises and builds on the success achieved by our first HLF project ‘The Story of British Jazz’, and presents a wonderful opportunity to develop our relationship with a broad range of new and existing partners. It also enables us to further develop the Archive and to increase access to and public engagement with our important collections.”

Paul Kaufman, Chair of the Trustees of the National Jazz Archive


The intergenerational project will explore how different generations have promoted, performed, supported, and documented our jazz heritage. 

The project will also work with the Black Cultural Archives to encourage participation from the older black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities, including local musicians associated with these communities.

In addition, there will be an exhibition celebrating the people and places that have shaped jazz music across the UK.

“This project is a great example of the breadth of heritage supported by National Lottery players. We’re really pleased that our funding will allow more people to explore and learn about this fascinating and important archive.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England


The National Jazz Archive will be leading the project, and will work in partnership with other specialist organisations to deliver it: Age UK, Black Cultural Archives, Chelmsford Museums Service, Essex University, Loughton Youth Project, the Open University, and local jazz clubs.

More info available here


[EVENT] The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research

orpheus-institute-concert-hall9-11 November this year will see three days of conference activity in Ghent, Belgium, dedicated to research in the arts involving aspects of the work of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research brings together researchers from a wide variety of artistic backgrounds, and on the second day of proceedings, will feature the work of two of  jazz  at BCU’s very own researchers: Steve Tromans and Mike Fletcher.

orpheus-institute-auditorium Tromans and Fletcher are to give a mixed-mode presentation, interposing spoken address with live performance, in Ghent’s magnificent Muziekcentrum De Bijloke. The duo’s lecture-recital is focused on the ways in which jazz performers make use of the standard repertoire in jazz (the so-called “jazz standards”), and how such performance practice can form the basis of research into a series of philosophical questions pertinent to the Deleuzian canon.

Image credit: www.darkprecursor.org





Image credits: BBC Website

Are you taking part in BBC Music Jazz with BBC Radio 3 this month?

It’s quite a unique experience that they’re offering thats consists of four days of non-stop music from all the jazz greats you can probably name

Starting on 12 November, it will be available across digital radio, online AND the iPlayer Radio App for mobile/tablet

So there’s actually no excuse for you to miss it!


They’re offering listeners the chance to pick from 50 Great Jazz nominees to decide who is the Greatest Jazz Artist of all time.

Voting’s already started but don’t worry it’s going to open until Thursday 22 october at 8pm GMT

Go to bbc.co.uk/jazzvote for terms and conditions and to vote.

Even if you don’t vote its still a good old bit of Jazz nostalgia to tune into.

Don’t say we never told you so !

[EVENT] Darmstadt Jazzforum 14: Gender & Identity in Jazz

By Nicolas Pillai

Located south of Frankfurt, Darmstadt is known as Germany’s “City of Science.” But it could just as easily be called the “City of Jazz.” Every two years, the city’s Jazzinstitut hosts an international conference that welcomes musicians, academics, journalists and interested townspeople for discussion and debate on the music’s ongoing place in society.

Image 1

This year the topic was “Gender & Identity,” a subject which attracted a variety of speakers and prompted lively argument. I had been invited to give the final paper of the conference and had chosen to speak on the Hollywood jazz film. Using Laura Mulvey’s theories of visual pleasure, my paper addressed the homosocial gaze in films about performing men. I wasn’t sure how this would go down; happily, the reactions from the audience were generous, effusive and intellectually informed – all characteristics of the conference as a whole.

Among a range of talented speakers, I was delighted to hear Katherine Williams’ reworked narrative of women in jazz, Joy Ellis and Adam Osmianski on women in the jazz jam and Sherrie Tucker on the problematic construction of ‘inclusivity’. These papers provided focused accounts of the challenges facing women within jazz performance and jazz education. Meanwhile, the masculine myths present in so many jazz histories were challenged by Christopher Dennison’s analysis of homosexual language in jazz anecdote, John Murph’s exploration of queerness in the work of Sun Ra and Christian Broecking’s triumphant celebration of Irène Schweizer.

Delegates were treated to warm German hospitality with a very fine meal and a brilliant jam session held in the cellar below the Institut. Meanwhile, I was excited to take a tour of the hunting lodge within which the archive is held and especially to browse the very impressive collection of jazz vinyl. An exhibition on the top floor tying into the conference gave a cohesion to the whole event and gave a glimpse into the wonderful resources held at the Jazzinstitut.

Proceedings for the conference will be published in the Darmstadt Studies in Jazz series, a volume I am looking forward to having on my bookshelf. I’m keen to return to many of the papers which I heard on this weekend but also to have a souvenir of one of the best-run and most productive conferences that I have attended. 

Conference programme available here