Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia- Conference Schedule 2016

Apr 12 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, News


With the conference fast approaching, we are pleased to announce the conference schedule for this year’s Rhythm Changes conference. Please click on the link below to view a PDF schedule. Schedules will also be provided as part of the conference booklet, available upon registration.


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Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia Conference Reception- Opening Address by Soweto Kinch

Apr 10 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, News

Photo credit: Benjamin Amure

Photo credit: Benjamin Amure


The fourth Rhythm Changes conference, Jazz Utopia, will take place at Birmingham City University from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 April 2016.

A?Nicholas Gebhardt and the conference committee are pleased to invite all conference delegates to attend the opening reception of Rhythm Changes IV – Jazz Utopia, between 18.00 and 21.00 on Thursday 14 April 2016 at:


The Parkside Building (Atrium)

Birmingham City University

5 Cardigan Street


B4 7BD


Award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic – including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two

UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003. In October 2007, he won his second MOBO Award, at the O2 Arena, London where he was announced as the winner in the Best Jazz Act category- fending off stiff competition from the likes of Wynton Marsalis.

His skills as a hip hop MC and producer have also garnered him recognition in the urban music world: having supported the likes of KRS ONE, Dwele and TY, and being championed by the likes of Mos Def, Rodney P and BBC 1-Xtraa??s Twin B.

Kincha??s projects also extend beyond recorded albums. Writing the score for Jonzi Da??s Hip Hop Theatre production Markus the Sadist (2010), and Sampada??s In The Further Soil (2010), a dance-theatre. Kinch also wrote and acted in the latter piece, which toured throughout India for a month.


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Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia- Plenary Performances

Apr 08 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, News


Jazz Utopia are pleased to present the plenary performances forA?Rhythm Changes 2016. Buses will transport delegates from the conference site to the venues, as noted in the conference schedule (available in delegate pack).A?Tickets for both performances are included within the delegate pack.A?Saturday night’s performance will follow the conference supper, hosted at Bar Utopia- please sign up for the conference supper by clicking here.


Sean Gibba??s MOSAIC

Friday 15 April 5-6:30pm a?? Symphony Hall CafA? Bar

MOSAIC is a band led by Sean Gibbs featuring some of the most exciting players from the Birmingham jazz scene. They play compositions of Seana??s that encompass influences from the jazz tradition alongside the earthy grooves of blues, rock and whatever else takes their fancy.

Sean Gibbs – Trumpet

Ben Lee – Guitar

Andy Bunting – Piano

Nick Jurd – Bass

Euan Palmer a?? Drums


Mike Fletcher Jazz Orchestra

Saturday 16 April 8pm a?? Adrian Boult Hall

Multi-Instrumentalist and composer Mike Fletcher leads his 12 piece jazz orchestra in a performance featuring the premiere of a ne
work written by the acclaimed Scottish composer Anna Meredith.

AlongsideA?this new work the orchestra will perform music written by their leader whose primary interest is in balancing composition with improvisation, creating music that has a a??free-wheeling, experimental atmosphere and the real vibrancy that music being created in the moment can have.a??

As a nominee for the ECHO Rising Stars 2014/2015 programme Mike Fletcher has recently appeared at the Barbican Centre as part of the London Jazz Festival, Hamburga??s Laiezhalle and the CBSO Centre in Birmingham.

Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic, whose sound is frequently described as maximalist and uncategorisable. Her music has been performed everywhere from the BBC Last Night of the Proms to flashmob body-percussion performances in the M6 Services, PRADA fashion campaigns, numerous films, installations and documentaries, pop festivals, clubs and classical concert halls worldwide and broadcast on Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6.

Performances Birmingham Limited gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Britten-Pears Foundation, the Hinrichsen Foundation, John Feeney Charitable Trust, and PRS for Music Foundation

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Vox Pop at Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia

Apr 07 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, Media, News

Alan Musson from Black Country RadioA?will be recording sections of the conference to produce a series of Vox Pops. We invite you all to express your thoughts and opinions on theA?sessions and performances. Alan would be more than happy to hear from you, so please introduce yourself during the event.


Alan’s show,A?JazzA?Kaleidoscope, is on air every Monday from 9 to 11pm on Black Country Radio.

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Jazz Promoters Network- Annual General Meeting

Apr 07 2016 Published by under Conference, Events





The first formal JPN Annual General Meeting will take place on 14th April (11.00-17.00) at Birmingham City University, followed by a Planning Conference. This meeting is held in association with theA?Rhythm Changes conferenceA?and welcomes Rhythm Changes delegates.

TheA?election for JPN Board membersA?will take place at the AGM, and only current members are eligible to vote (one vote per member organisation).A?Get in touchA?to enquire about joining or to renew your membership.



Registration viaA?EventbriteA?is free for JPN members and A?30 + booking fee for non-members.

Schedule of AGM andA?Planning Conference

AGM Papers
JPN Chaira??s Report April 2016A?(pdf)
JPN a?? Summary first period accounts at 31 March 2016A?(pdf)

Venue details and mapA?(external link)


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Jazz Classics: Revisiting classic texts in jazz studies

Apr 05 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, News

Jazz Classics: Revisiting classic texts in jazz studies

Sunday 17th April


In our final session of Rhythm Changes: Jazz UtopiaA?Alyn Shipton and Krin Gabbard a?? chaired by Fiona Talkington – will revisit classic texts in jazz studies.


Alyn Shipton was Consultant Editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and as an oral historian has edited the memoirs of Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham, George Shearing, Chris Barber, and most recently Billy J. Kramer. His book Groovina?? High, the life of Dizzy Gillespie, won the 1999 ARSC award for the best research of the year. His books on songwriter Jimmy McHugh and bandleader Cab Calloway were both finalists in the ARSC awards. Alyna??s most recent full-length biography, Nilsson, The Life of a Singer-Songwriter, won a Deems Taylor award as best pop biography of 2013 and the yeara??s ARSC award for pop music research.

His New History of Jazz, published in 2001, was Jazz Journalistsa?? Book of the Year, and won the Jazz Writer of the Year title in the British Jazz Awards. A revised edition appeared in 2007. Alyn read English Language and Literature at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He later went on to take a PhD in music history at Oxford Brookes University. He has been a lecturer in music at Brookes (2002a??3), and at City University (2012a??13). He is now a Research Fellow and lecturer in Jazz History at the Royal Academy of Music.


Krin Gabbard taught comparative literature and cultural studies at Stony Brook University from 1981 until 2014.A? He is now an adjunct professor of jazz studies at Columbia University where he teaches courses such as a??Jazz and American Culture.a??A? He is also busy playing his trumpet in a swing band and writing a memoir about his parents.A? His books include Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus (2016), Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture (2008), Black Magic: White Hollywood and African American Culture (2004), and Jammina?? at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema (1996).A? His two edited collections, Jazz Among the Discourses and Representing Jazz were published by Duke University Press in 1995.A? He is also editor-in-chief of Oxford University Pressa??s online bibliography of Cinema and Media Studies and a consultant on the J-Disc project, a new online jazz discography with exhaustive information about individual jazz recordings.


Fiona Talkington is a UK-based broadcaster, , writer and speaker, best known to radio audiences as founding presenter of BBC Radio 3a??s award winning a??Late Junctiona??. Fiona has presented for the BBC since 1989 working across a wide range of programmes, from Breakfast, to live broadcasts from the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and Londona??s premier chamber music venues Wigmore Hall and LSO St Lukea??s. She has broadcast from Womad, Music around Europe days for the EBU, from the Royal Opera House, the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and many of the UKa??s leading venues.

Fiona works extensively as a curator in the UK and Norway: at Kings Place curating Scene Norway, Scene Norway 2 and Eesti Fest, and has curated Voices Across the World at the Royal Opera House. She devised and curated the hugely successful conexions series for for Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo, celebrating and creating musical partnerships between the UK and Norway. In 2014 she worked with St Georgea??s Bristol on Norwegian programming including curating a Norwegian day of music and literature, and is currently involved with a Norwegian project in Oxford.

In 2004 she was presented with the coveted Molde Rose award at the Molde Jazz Festival , and in 2009 she was awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for her services to Norwegian arts.

Recent projects include Editor of the English version of Luca Vitalia??s a??The Sound of the North a?? a history of Norwegian jazza??, and Edition Records has recently released her compilation of Nordic jazz a??Northern Editiona??.

Fionaa??s Masters degree in English Literature and the Visual Arts specialised in the writings of Sir Kenneth Clark. She has taught for Reading University and for the Open University.

She is a Vice-President of the Grieg Society of Great Britain, chair of the trustees of the Whitley Arts Festival and a member of the advisory board for Britten Sinfonia.

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Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia Conference Supper

Mar 31 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, News

Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia Conference SupperA?


We are pleased to announce that the Jazz Utopia conference supper will be hosted by Bar Utopia (where else?) on Church Street, Birmingham city centre on Saturday the 16th of April. Buses will take delegates from outside BCU’s city centre campus to the restaurant at 17.15. At 19.15 we will head across to the nearby Birmingham Conservatoire for Mike Fletcher’s Jazz Orchestra performance (tickets included in conference delegate pack). Dietary requirements have already been considered, with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options and all dishes clearly labelled for allergies. Drinks can be bought at the bar and are not included in the EventbriteA?price.


Please register your interest by emailingA?jazzutopia@bcu.ac.uk

Payments (for food only) should be made before the event, via the Eventbrite link here.


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Rhythm Changes 2016 Programme

Jan 29 2016 Published by under Conference, Events, News

RC2016 Draft Program


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Rhythm Changes Jazz Utopia conference: REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Dec 01 2015 Published by under Conference, Events, News

Registration is now open for the fourth Rhythm Changes conference,A?Jazz Utopia, which will take place at Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom from 14 to 17 April 2016.

Proposal submission is now closed. Thank you to all whom submitted proposals! Registration is now open (please seeA?RegistrationA?for further details).

The conference is hosted by the School of Media and the Faculty of Art, Design and Media, Birmingham CityA?University, United Kingdom, and will be held at our City CentreA?campus.

Hotel and travel information:

The official conference hotel isA?Hotel LaTour. The conference rates are as follows:

1 person standard room: A?100

2 person standard room: A?110

To make a booking at these rates please email Clare Andrews A?(reservations@hotel-latour.co.uk)A?and quote Jazz Utopia and the conference ID: 898952.

For information about travel go to: Visit Birmingham

If you have further enquiries, please email the conference team on: jazzutopia@bcu.ac.uk

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