New book, The Pop Festival, from Rhythm Changes, with jazz festival research

May 15 2015

McKay The Pop Festival lo-res coverWe are delighted to announce the publication this summer of The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture (Bloomsbury), edited by George McKay, which features contributions from other Rhythm Changes scholars too: Anne Dvinge, Andrew Dubber, Nick Gebhardt. Altogether there are 14 essays from UK, USA, Europe, Australia (see table of contents below). The book is well-illustrated with archive and contemporary images of festival posters, ephemera, and includes a photo-essay on the British counterculture. Here’s what scholars in the field have been saying about it already: ‘nothing less than an alternate history of popular music since the Second World War’ — Prof William Straw; ‘a lively, challenging, accessible and eclectic collection’ — Prof Chris Gibson; ‘[in] this wonderful book, McKay assembles a series of masterful essays’ — Prof Andy Bennett.

In particular essays by Anne (Detroit Jazz Festival) and George (feat. Beaulieu Jazz Festival, 1956-61) deal with the jazz festival. Here’s a short extract from Anne’s excellent study of Detroit, ‘Musicking in Motor City: reconfiguring urban space at the Detroit Jazz Festival’, which draws on her ethnographic and observational research there.

… the festival is intimately tied to the cultural and economic history and geography of Detroit. It functions as a marker of identity as well as a creator of radical space. Issues of production and economic gain, of tourism economy and commercial interests are central, but so are issues of participation and community that transcends the boundaries of the festival and its locale whilst being rooted in both place and tradition. I outline this history and development through three perspectives—the urban concept city, the role of music and the festival’s connection with both. I finally offer a reading of the festival with Christopher Small’s concept of musicking—music as a verb rather than an object—in mind. That is, a ritual that functions as ‘a form of organized behaviour in which humans use the language of gesture … to affirm, to explore, and to celebrate their ideas of how the relationships of the cosmos operate, and thus, how they themselves should relate to it and to one another’. Thus, the jazz festival performs a complex vernacular play and ritual that ultimately celebrates and connects Detroit with its past, present and future. Any city festival may achieve a temporary transformation of the urban; here I show how joy takes root annually in Detroit, and I also discus the specific contribution of the musical practice that is jazz to making a particular kind of festival and transformation.

 


 

The Pop Festival contents

Introduction
George McKay

Chapter 1. ‘The pose … is a stance': popular music and the cultural politics of festival in 1950s Britain
George McKay

Chapter 2. Out of sight: the mediation of the music festival
Mark Goodall

Chapter 3. ‘Let there be rock!’ Myth and ideology in the rock festivals of the transatlantic counterculture
Nicholas Gebhardt

Chapter 4. ‘As real as real can get': race, representation, and rhetoric at Wattstax, 1972
Gina Arnold

Chapter 5. The artist at the music festival: art, performance and hybridity
Rebekka Kill

Chapter 6. Photo-essay: Free festivals, new travellers, and the free party scene in Britain, 1981-1992
Alan Lodge

Chapter 7. Festival bodies: the corporeality of the contemporary music festival scene in Australia
Joanne Cummings and Jacinta Herborn

Chapter 8. The Love Parade: European techno, the EDM festival, and the tragedy in Duisburg
Sean Nye and Ronald Hitzler

Chapter 9. Protestival: global days of action and carnivalised politics at the turn of the millennium
Graham St John

Chapter 10. Alternative playworlds: psytrance festivals, deep play and creative zones of transcendence
Alice O’Grady

Chapter 11. No Spectators! The art of participation, from Burning Man to boutique festivals in Britain
Roxanne Robinson

Chapter 12. Musicking in Motor City: reconfiguring urban space at the Detroit Jazz Festival
Anne Dvinge

Chapter 13. Branding, sponsorship, and the music festival
Chris Anderton

Chapter 14. Everybody talk about pop music: Un-Convention as alternative to festival, from DIY music to social change
Andrew Dubber

Index

HERA logo        AHRC logo

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives

Apr 23 2015

The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music documents the emergence of collective movements in jazz and improvised music. Jazz history is most often portrayed as a site for individual expression and revolves around the celebration of iconic figures, while the networks and collaborations that enable the music to maintain and sustain its cultural status are surprisingly under-investigated. This collection explores the history of musician-led collectives and the ways in which they offer a powerful counter-model for rethinking jazz practices in the post-war period. It includes studies of groups including the New York Musicians Organization, Sweden’s Ett minne för livet, Wonderbrass from South Wales, the contemporary Dutch jazz-hip hop scene, and Austria‘s JazzWerkstatt. With an international list of contributors and examples from Europe and the United States, these twelve essays and case studies examine issues of shared aesthetic vision, socioeconomic and political factors, local education, and cultural values among improvising musicians.

Large Image

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781138780637/

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

EFCF/JEN Jazz Research Fellowship

Mar 24 2015

The first-ever EFCF/JEN Jazz Research Fellowship is intended to provide opportunities for a serious educator/student/music historian (such as senior researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students) to conduct a directed research Project associated with the archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The project will be allowed up to two years to final completion or the fellowship money must be refunded in full.  In addition, a final presentation of the project will take place at the Smithsonian Institution as well as at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference. A written document/summation (non-exclusively) published through JEN is also required to be completed no later than six months after the final presentation.  Deadline March 31 – follow this link to apply https://jazzednet.org/fellowship

Also – all performance/ clinic/ research application for the 7th Annual JEN Conference, January 6-9 in Louisville, KY are due by March 31 to be considered for programming.  Follow this link to apply https://jazzednet.org/conferenceapp

We hope to see many of you at the 7th Annual JEN Conference, January 6-9 in Louisville

Sincerely
Monika Herzig

Dr Monika Herzig
Arts Administration, SPEA 433
Indiana University
812-855-4700
mherzig@indiana.edu
www.monikaherzig.com
Jazz Pianist/ Composer

Have YOU joined JEN yet? Catch the buzz!
Jazz Education Network, Secretary
www.JazzEdNet.org
Let’s connect in Louisville, KY at the 7th Annual JEN Conference, January 6-9, 2016

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

2016 conference, Birmingham: Jazz Utopia call for papers

Mar 17 2015

The fourth Rhythm Changes conference: Jazz Utopia will take place at Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom from 14 to 17 April 2016.

Keynote Speakers
Professor Ingrid Monson (Harvard University)
Professor Raymond MacDonald (University of Edinburgh)

We invite paper submissions for Jazz Utopia, a four-day multi-disciplinary conference that brings together leading researchers across the arts and humanities. The event will feature academic papers, panels and poster sessions alongside an exciting programme of concerts delivered in partnership with the Birmingham Conservatoire and Jazzlines.

Jazz has long been a subject for utopian longing and hopes for a better future; it has also been the focus of deeply engrained cultural fears, visions of suffering and dystopian fantasies. In its urgency and presence jazz is now here. As improvisational and transitory, jazz is nowhere. Utopia is nowhere and now here. Jazz is utopia. Or: jazz is utopian desire. Jazz Utopia seeks to critically explore how the idea of utopia has shaped, and continues to shape, debates about jazz. We welcome papers that address the conference theme from multiple perspectives, including cultural studies, musicology, cultural theory, music analysis, jazz history, media studies, and practice-based research. Within the general theme of Jazz Utopia, we have identified three sub-themes. Please clearly identify which theme you are speaking to in your proposal.

Jazz Utopia conference logoJazz identities
Claims have always been made for jazz as a certain utopian practice, in which jazz has made possible a musical-social space where different, usually marginal, identities are expressed and confirmed. At the multiracial club, bandstand, or dance-floor race and ethnicity are acknowledged, difference is championed or erased. Musicians have used jazz to step out of their class. The dialogic qualities and queer sounds alike of jazz offer opportunity for the expression of gender and sexuality. New thinking around disability and casino online music reads jazz as a crip-space. Equally, consider the way in which freedom in improvisation has been understood as a liberating utopian practice. Even in its diasporic invention jazz comes from a kind of no-place (ou-topia = no place). In utopia, jazz is the effort to sound another world into being, the only condition of which is that it must be better. Has jazz really been that good?

Inside / outside: jazz and its others
What does jazz mean to its community of insiders and those that approach it from outside? For those who are deeply involved with jazz, whether musicians, critics, scholars, or fans, the genre often provides a utopian space for creative encounters. By definition, the articulation of this space through performance, writing, research and consumption also creates a community of outsiders who may seek ways to engage with the jazz community or observe it from afar. This strand invites papers that address the relationships between jazz and its ‘others’, defined in relation to music making, criticism, scholarship or reception, whether these interactions are antagonistic or collaborative in tone.

Heritage and archiving
This strand focuses on the different ways in which heritage practices and archival work contribute to the reconfiguration of jazz as a utopian space. Through its commitment to alternative ways of living and being, jazz offers imaginative variations on themes of history and preservation. It creates communities of collectors and music lovers, who refigure jazz as nostalgia and escape, as well as renewal and return. We welcome papers that explore all aspects of archiving practice and cultural heritage and the opportunities and tensions that present themselves for scholars, institutions and practitioners in these fields.

Proposals are invited for:
• Individual papers(20 minutes) – up to 350 words.
• Themed paper sessions of three individual (20 minute) papers – 350 words per paper plus 350 words outlining the rationale for the session.
• Seventy-five minute sessions in innovative formats – up to 1000 words outlining the form and content of the sessions.

Please submit proposals (including a short biography and institutional affiliation) by email in a word document attachment to: jazzutopia@bcu.ac.uk

The deadline for proposals is 1st September 2015; outcomes will be communicated to authors by 1st October 2015. All paper submissions will be considered by the conference committee: Christa Bruckner-Haring (University of Music & Performing Arts, Graz), Nicholas Gebhardt (chair; BCU), George McKay (University of East Anglia), Loes Rusch (University of Amsterdam/BCU), Catherine Tackley (Open University), Walter van de Leur (University of Amsterdam/Amsterdam Conservatory) and Tony Whyton (University of Salford).

The conference builds on the legacy of the Rhythm Changes research project. Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities was funded as part of the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) Joint Research Programme, which ran from 2010-2013. The project team continues to develop networking opportunities and champion collaborative research into transnational jazz studies.

Updates on the conference and information about travel and accommodation will be available on this site over the next few months.

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

Mar 05 2015

The Jazz Department at Birmingham Conservatoire cordially invites you to attend our Jazz Research afternoon in Arena Foyer, from 2 pm – 6.30 pm.
The first half, from 2 pm-4 pm, will be a presentation and discussion led by Andy Hamilton  (Philosophy Dept, Durham University) on his research on Lee Konitz.
9780472032174
After tea/coffee break (4.30 pm-6.30 pm), Jeremy Price, Andrew Bain, and Hans Koller will give 15min presentations each on various subjects exploring ideas of practical research in jazz, and chair a general discussion.
For more information contact Hans Koller (Hans.Koller@bcu.ac.uk)

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

Planning for the Rhythm Changes 2016 conference, Birmingham City University, UK

Feb 03 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 11.37.40A group of us from across Europe are meeting today to look back on the previous three Rhythm Changes conferences (Amsterdam 2012, Salford 2013, Amsterdam 2014) and to plan for our next conference in 2016 at, as we announced in Amsterdam last September, Birmingham City University (BCU).  You coming to it? We hope so.

The organising committee is:

  • Dr Nick Gebhardt, BCU (lead organiser)
  • Prof Walter van de Leur, Amsterdam
  • Dr Loes Rusch, Amsterdam
  • Dr Christa Bruckner-Haring, Graz
  • Prof Tony Whyton, Salford
  • Prof George McKay, UEA
  • Dr Catherine Tackley, Open University.
RC2016 organising committee meeting, BCU

RC2016 organising committee meeting, BCU, 3 February 2015

We are talking about the theme(s) for the 2016 conference, its structure, how to  present jazz ideas in traditional and alternative ways, how BCUs disciplinary and intellectual identity (media – music – industry) could be reflected as host of the event, potential keynotes and invited speakers, and the specific dates of course. (Early-mid-April 2016 seems most favoured at the moment.)

Some ideas for our theme and key strands we are discussing are as follows (bear in mind these are in draft and need working up, but we thought you might like a sneak preview):

Jazz Utopia

  • jazz identity/ies. Race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality (queering jazz, Sapphonics), disability and jazz.
  • inside / outside: jazz and its others. What does jazz mean to its community of insiders and those that approach it from outside?
  • heritage and archiving. The ways in which our relationship with the past enables us to imagine and construct jazz as an alternative space and practice.

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

Professor in Residence, EFG London Jazz Festival 2014

Oct 23 2014

lnodon jazz fest 2014 logo[PRESS RELEASE]

GEORGE McKAY APPOINTED PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE  AT THE EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL

Professor George McKay is the first academic ever to be appointed ‘Professor in Residence’ at a jazz festival.

In conjunction with Serious and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Professor McKay will be joining the team of the EFG London Jazz Festival on 1 November 2014.

‘I’m delighted to be the first Professor in Residence at the EFG London Jazz Festival. Allow me to introduce myself: I’m George McKay, Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia and I’m also currently an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Leadership Fellow for one of its priority areas, the Connected Communities Programme. My books include Radical Gardening (2011), Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music & Disability (2013) and a collection called The Pop Festival (2015). But you’ll probably be most interested in Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz In Britain (2005), a book about the development of jazz, free improvisation, political campaigns, New Orleans-style marching bands, questions of race and gender in this music of ‘liberation’. I’ve followed up recently with some more work on the neglected 1950s Trinidadian pianist Winnie Atwell.

One of my focuses in terms of Connected Communities is the idea of festival – how does this density and intensity of cultural activity transform its environment (whether that’s tents and soundsystems in a field or trumpets in a city street), and what is the impact on the local population and audiences.  

But why should the EFG London Jazz Festival appoint a Professor in Residence right now?  There’s been a real explosion of interest in what’s being called the New Jazz Studies from UK academics over the past decade. In terms of British jazz, academic books by Catherine Tackley, Hilary Moore, and me, have all explored the contribution of the UK to jazz development and history. Jazz Research Journal, edited by Tackley and Tony Whyton, publishes quality research by international scholars.  A new Routledge series, Transnational Jazz Studies, is edited by Whyton and Nick Gebhardt.

And there have been notable major research projects, like Rhythm Changes: (EU-funded, led from Salford University) and What Is Black British Jazz? (AHRC; Open University). AHRC currently funds a PhD student, Alison Eales, looking at the 25-year history of Glasgow Jazz Festival, co-supervised between the festival and Glasgow University.  You can watch a great film made this year about researching jazz festivals on Youtube: Tom Perchard of Goldsmiths was awarded an AHRC Early Career Fellowship for a project entitled Jazz in France, 1934-75. At the moment my university is in the process of appointing a one-year AHRC postdoctoral research assistant working across London and other jazz festivals, looking at their impact and value. 

So, working with the EFG London Jazz Festival team, we thought it a good idea to try to bring some of this academic energy and insight around jazz to festival-goers. We’ve built on some work from last year, when we marked London’s 21st birthday with a day of talks at the Royal Festival Hall, and curated a programme of discussions around questions of politics, power and history. For a music that talks a lot about freedom, these are key questions to debate, and we’re bringing together academics, and some critics and musicians, to unpack them and to explore the roles that jazz musicians, activists and cultural workers in Britain have had in making their musical and political mark. Please, do join us.’

Prof George McKay

Full talks programme listings

All talks are free

Saturday 15 November 

South Africa 20 years on and the legacy of the Blue Notes: Southbank Centre / Front Room 12.45 & 3.30pm

Knife in the Water – discussion about the music of the film’s charismatic composer, Krzysztof Komeda: Barbican Cinema, 3pm

Way in to the Way Out: Arun Ghosh and Zoe Rahman (Part 1): Southbank Centre / Front Room 4.30pm

Sunday 16 November

Jazz Record Requests with Alyn Shipton: Barbican FreeStage 2pm

Way in to the Way Out: Arun Ghosh and Zoe Rahman (Part 2): Southbank Centre / Front Room 4.30pm

Tuesday 18 November

The Art and the Value of Commissioning New Music – with Trish Clowes and Guy Barker: Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall 6pm

Wednesday 19 November 

Jazz Rants: The Jazz Industry and The Creative Economy: Club Inégales 7pm

Thursday 20 November

Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya – Stefano Bollani: Barbican 6.30pm

Friday 21 November

Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya – Kenny Barron & Dave Holland: Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall 6.30pm

Saturday 22 November

Improvisation and action – the legacy of John Stevens: Southbank Centre / Front Room 2pm

‘the space is the place’ : casino online the art of programming: Barbican 5.30pm

Blue Note at 75 – Don Was meets Richard Havers: Southbank Centre / Level 5 Function Room 6pm

Sunday 23 November

Jazz and Gender: Southbank Centre / Front Room 12.45pm

For full details visit efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk/talks

_______________________________________________________________________________________

EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Please contact Sally Reeves  44 (0)1223 864710 | 44 (0)7790 518756 |  sallyreeves@btinternet.com

Issued by Piers Mason at Serious  44 (0)20 7324 1880 | piers.mason@serious.org.uk
For information on all EFG London Jazz Festival shows please go to efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS
The EFG London Jazz Festival is produced by Serious, one of the UK’s leading producers and curators of live jazz, international and new music. Serious produces events that range from major concerts, festivals and national and international tours through to learning and participation programmes, conferences and specially commissioned bespoke events. Alongside its core role as a live music events producer, it works in artist and rights management. Alongside this exists the registered charity, Serious Trust, which has been established to support the next generation of artists and audiences through our artist development, learning and participation and commissioning programmes
serious.org.uk

The London Jazz Festival was created in 1992 by live international music producers, Serious. The Festival emerged from the long-standing Camden Jazz Week which was created in 1970; with the active support of the London Arts Board (now Arts Council England, London). Serious – who had for some years produced the Camden Jazz Week, engineered a transition that saw the evolution of the Festival.  Taking a mix of international and British artists and a commitment to education activity, the London Jazz Festival began to spread its wings. The aims of the Festival still remain the same today; celebrating the place of jazz in a city which is at ease with its rich cultural diversity, and drawing in a multitude of venues across London who present the music, week in, week out, throughout the year.
efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

EFG International is a global private banking group offering private banking and asset management services, headquartered in Zurich. EFG International”s group of private banking businesses operates in around 30 locations worldwide, with circa 2,000 employees. EFG International”s registered shares (EFGN) are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. It is represented in the UK by EFG Private Bank, which offers a range of wealth management services in the UK (with offices in London and the Midlands) and Channel Islands.
Practitioners of the craft of private banking: efginternational.com

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.16.08

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

New study on Black British Jazz

Oct 07 2014

BBJ cover imageGeorge McKay writes: I’m very pleased to be part of a notable new book, Black British Jazz: Routes, Ownership and Performance, edited by Jason Toynbee, Catherine Tackley (co-organiser of our wonderful RC2014 conference in Amsterdam) and Mark Doffman, in which I go back to look again at the 1950s pianist, chart-topper, and television presenter, Winifred Atwell. My chapter is called ‘Winifred Atwell and her “other piano”: 16 hit singles and “a blanket of silence”, sounding the limits of jazz’. You can find information about all the chapters for the entire collection at the Black British Jazz contents page, while below is the book’s blurb:

Black British musicians have been making jazz since around 1920 when the genre first arrived in Britain. This groundbreaking book reveals their hidden history and major contribution to the development of jazz in the UK. More than this, though, the chapters show the importance of black British jazz in terms of musical hybridity and the cultural significance of race. Decades before Steel Pulse, Soul II Soul, or Dizzee Rascal pushed their way into the mainstream, black British musicians were playing jazz in venues up and down the country from dance halls to tiny clubs. In an important sense, then, black British jazz demonstrates the crucial importance of musical migration in the musical history of the nation, and the links between popular and avant-garde forms. But the volume also provides a case study in how music of the African diaspora reverberates around the world, beyond the shores of the USA—the engine-house of global black music. As such it will engage scholars of music and cultural studies not only in Britain, but across the world.

And here is a link to the Google Book version of the collection (but do buy it / order it for your library):

[Extract from introduction to George’s chapter] … From Tunapuna, Trinidad, Winifred Atwell (c. 1914-1983) was a classically trained ragtime and boogie-woogie style pianist who gained quite remarkable popularity in Britain, and later also Australia, in the 1950s, in live and recorded music, as well as in the developing television industry. In this chapter I outline her extraordinary international musical biography as a chart-topping pop and television star—innovative achievements for a black migrant female musician which are arguably thrown into more dramatic light by virtue of the fact that Atwell has been Wiinifred Atwell and her 'other piano' with rhythm accompaniment (no. 1, 1954)and remains a neglected figure in media and popular music (let alone jazz) history. I pay particular attention to her performative tactics and repertoire, developing material I introduced first in Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain. But our interest in Atwell should stem not only from her position as a significant figure neglected by history, for she speaks also to definitional issues of jazz. The chapter progresses into a discussion of the extent to which Atwell is a limit case of jazz in the developing pop world of the 1950s on….

Atwell topped the British singles charts twice, with 14 other top-30 singles during the 1950s, and she was also the first black million-selling singles artist in British pop history. Most of these achievements were the result of her playing jazz-derived instrumental music (solo or with a trio or quartet: piano-guitar-bass-drums). (Here you can read an interview I did with her drummer from the period, Colin Bailey.) Hers was a striking early example of a multiplatform media and music success: prestigious live performances and international tours, hit records, pop-jazz and classical repertoires, radio broadcasts, sheet music and piano instruction book sales, television presenter fronting her own series (on both main British channels and in Australia), and film appearances on screen and in the soundtrack….

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

Jazz Beyond Borders Conference 4-7 September 2014, Conservatory of Amsterdam

Aug 29 2014

conference_logo395 papers and talks about jazz … are you coming? If by any chance you can’t make it to Amsterdam, you can keep in touch with, and contribute to, the twitter conversation via the hashtag or sharp symbol #rcjazz2014….

Keynotes from Steven Feld

…and John Gennari

Blowin' Hot and Cool

…performances and films

What do you think? Be the first to have your say here.

Older posts »