Photos taken at the Fifth International Rhythm Changes Conference. Various photographers (Susanne Abbhuel, Francesco Martinelli, Beth Aggett, Walter van de Leur, Tom Sykes), in no particular order. Click on thumbnail for high-res version.
Beyond Genre: Jazz as Popular Music
April 19-21, 2018
Center for Popular Music Studies
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
The intersections of jazz and popular music are myriad. Louis Armstrong recorded with Jimmie Rodgers and Bessie Smith; Carlos Santana recorded with Alice Coltrane; Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly featured Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, and Kamasi Washington; George Benson topped the Billboard 200 in 1976; Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, and Miles Davis are all inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; consider also the careers of The Bad Plus, Benny Goodman, Spyro Gyra, Kenny G, Norah Jones, and countless others.
Jazz scholars have long grappled with the instability of genre, with its unexpected changes and re- definitions. Yet while recent scholarship has fostered more inclusive conceptions of both “popular music” and “jazz,” the tendency remains to treat them as separate categories. It is these ever-changing boundaries that inspire “Beyond Genre: Jazz as Popular Music,” a conference dedicated to exploring the middle ground between popular music and new jazz studies. Sponsored by The Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University, the conference will feature keynote presentations by David Brackett (McGill University) and Sherrie Tucker (University of Kansas).
All proposals considering the connection between jazz and popular music will be considered.
Possible topics to explore include, but are not limited to:
collaborations between jazz and “non-jazz” musicians
jazz as popular music
jazz versions of popular music interpolations
the music industry
Each presentation will be thirty minutes: twenty minutes for the paper and ten minutes for questions. Proposals are due by November 1, 2017 and should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, as well as the presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, and any special technological requests.
Abstracts should be sent as Word documents and should exclude any information that may identify the author. Please send proposals and any questions to popmusic(at)case.edu.
Director, Center for Popular Music Studies
Charles Carson (University of Texas at Austin)
Daniel Goldmark (Case Western Reserve University)
Tammy Kernodle (Miami University)
Ken Prouty (Michigan State University)
Catherine Tackley (University of Liverpool)
Steve Waksman (Smith College)
Brian Wright (Fairmont State University)
The Rhythm Changes team is hugely looking forward to welcoming all delegates from all academic areas interested in jazz studies, as well as the music and creative sectors, to the latest in our international conferences on jazz, which opens at the Conservatory of Amsterdam on 31 August. Our theme, in this centenary year for recorded jazz music, is Re/Sounding Jazz.
The team met a year ago to firm up the shape and call of the event. The conference committee consists of Dr Christa Bruckner-Haring (Kunst Uni. Graz), Prof Nick Gebhardt (BCU), Prof George McKay (UEA), Dr Loes Rusch (UvA and CvA), Prof Catherine Tackley (U. of Liverpool), Prof Tony Whyton (BCU), and head of conference Prof Walter van de Leur (UvA and CvA). We are delighted that the conference has come together so well and we feel that this programme is one of the very best (in the top five!) we have produced to date.
Re/Sounding Jazz includes around 140 delegates, over 100 papers, with speakers coming from 30 countries, from Australia to South Africa, and from the US to Norway. We have two keynote speakers–in the spirit of transatlantic dialogue, one each from the US and Europe–as well as representatives from dozens of different music institutions, archives and conservatories. All information about the conference is available here, and you’ll find the Conference Guide here.
Finally, before we begin, some words from our conference chair, Walter van de Leur.
Once again it is my great pleasure to welcome you to a Rhythm Changes international jazz conference at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. This is our third such conference in Amsterdam, the other two were held in Salford and Birmingham. You keep coming back, so we must be doing something right.
We are proud of the fact that we have organised five of these international conferences since 2011. Think of that for a moment–it is part of the effort we as a team of researchers from Europe have put into building a new community of jazz scholars across much of the globe. But it has also to do with the enthusiasm and desire which you have shown repeatedly, simply and generously to share your ideas and your company with us. To jazz research friends old and new I say: Welcome (back) to Amsterdam, and let’s have a ball.
Call For Papers
Jazz and Culture
(formerly International Jazz Archives Journal)
RE-LAUNCH Issue – Spring 2018
Deadlines (for first issue):
Abstracts 300-500 words: May 1, 2017
Full Manuscripts: July 1, 2017
The University of Pittsburgh’s Jazz Studies program in collaboration with the University of Illinois Press are proud to announce the revival of our journal Jazz and Culture (formerly the International Jazz Archives Journal). We invite scholars and artists to submit article proposals for our first issue back, slated for release in Spring of 2018.
Jazz and Culture will be an annual, peer-reviewed publication devoted to publishing cutting-edge research on jazz from multiple perspectives. The journal is the continuation of the International Jazz Archives Journal, a publication founded in 1993 on the principle that both scholars and musicians offer invaluable contributions to scholarly inquiry. Continuing in that legacy, the journal will juxtapose groundbreaking work by researchers alongside oral histories and submissions written by master artists in the field. All methodological approaches are welcome, including ethno/musicology, music theory, and critical and cultural studies. Drawing upon recent trends in music scholarship, we further seek to interrogate a range of issues connecting music, race, class, gender, and other realms of social practice.
For the first time, the renewed journal will be published in collaboration with the University of Illinois Press. By partnering with a renowned publisher in music research, the journal will enjoy substantially increased access, including digital distribution.
We are requesting submissions in the following categories:
• Academic Articles in 10,000 words.
• Oral Histories of Jazz Artists
• Book and Media Reviews (1,000-2,000 words)
To submit, please send a proposal of 300-500 words in either .pdf or .doc format to: Pittjazz@pitt.edu. For consideration in the inaugural re-launch issue, please submit your proposals by May 1, 2017. Full manuscripts will be required by July 1.
For questions email: Editor-In-Chief Michael Heller at Michael.Heller@pitt.edu.
The fifth international Rhythm Changes Conference ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’ will take place at the
from 31 August to 3 September 2017
Registration is open
Click here to register.
Click here for our recommended hotels
Resound verb /rɪˈzaʊnd/
- (of a sound, voice, etc.) fill or echo throughout a place.
Synonyms: echo, re-echo, reverberate, ring out, fill the air, boom, peal, thunder, rumble.
- (of a place) be filled or echo with a sound or sounds.
Synonyms: reverberate, echo, re-echo, resonate, ring, vibrate, pulsate
- (of fame, an achievement, etc.) be much talked of.
Synonyms: be acclaimed, be celebrated, be renowned, be famed, be noted, be glorified, be trumpeted, be talked about.
Resounding adjective /rɪˈzaʊndɪŋ/
- (of a sound) loud enough to reverberate.
Synonyms: reverberant, reverberating, resonant, echoing, vibrant, ringing, sonorous, deep, rich, clear, loud, deafening.
The fifth international Rhythm Changes Conference ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’ will take place at the Conservatory of Amsterdam from 31 August to 3 September 2017. The event is delivered in partnership with the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, Birmingham City University, the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, CHIME, and a number of academic publishers and journals. ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’ will be the largest event of its kind world-wide: we expect close to 150 participants.
Dr Sherrie Tucker (Professor of American Studies, University of Kansas).
Dr Wolfram Knauer (Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt).
In the centennial year of the recording of ‘Livery Stable Blues’/‘Dixie Jass Band One-Step’ by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, we invite paper submissions for ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’, a four-day interdisciplinary conference that brings together researchers across the arts and humanities to explore the relationship between the distinctive sonic histories that define jazz, and the way in which these histories have been transmitted across cultures and societies over the last century. With an ear for the unexpected, we welcome contributions that address the conference theme from multiple perspectives, including musicology, sociology, cultural theory, music analysis, history, media studies, and practice-based research. Although not restricted to specific themes, possible topics could include:
- Re/Sounding dissonance: Jazz is often celebrated as a music that has the power to unite, but has also been the site of disagreements about what it is and isn’t, who owns it and who appropriated it, and whether it is dead or alive, has a future, or just smells funny. The jazz world has disagreed over race, gender, power, and class, as well as over jazz’s meanings, traditions, practices, and education. We invite papers that celebrate the cultural clashes that are at the very heart of this music.
- Sonic histories: Marking the centenary of the first jazz recording in New York in 1917, we invite explorations of the significance, or indeed of the secondary nature, of jazz as recorded form. This could include questions of recording technologies, studio organisation, ‘liveness’, ownership and copyright.
- Everyday experiences of jazz: Explorations of the connection between sound and place in jazz, histories of listening, issues of everyday aesthetics and soundscapes, and the relationship between sound and lived experiences.
- Margins/peripheries: Jazz and related improvised forms in Europe have often been positioned as well as self-identified at the margins of commercial success, of high culture, of career structure, of formal and informal funding. Its preferred live venues – clubs, pubs and bars – compare unfavourably with the classical world, while its media presence compares unfavourably with pop and rock. Is jazz the music of the precariat? Also, turning the question round, how and who does jazz marginalise?
- The sounds of jazz: Investigations into different aspects of jazz’s sonic world – ‘the music itself’ as a primary source and basis of jazz discourse – including innovative and/or experimental sounds and creative processes, work and stylistic analyses of musicians and repertoires, (new) genre-related studies, instrumental and sound studies, as well as recordings.
- The politics of jazz: Jazz has been, and arguably remains, a contested cultural form. From the Cold War to Black Lives Matter, musicians, writers and activists have drawn on jazz as a symbol of freedom from oppression. To what extent has the music challenged, provoked and re-sounded political debates?
- Jazz encounters: We are interested in examining ways in which cultural encounters with jazz have shaped different artistic practices and social movements and how the music has worked as a catalyst for social change. What are the achievements – the resounding successes – of jazz?
The Conference committee welcomes individual papers and proposals for panels and round table discussions. Please use one of the following formats:
- For individual 20-minute contributions: up to 250 words.
- For themed 3-paper sessions or panel discussions: up to 250 words per contribution plus 250 words outlining the rationale for the session.
- For 75-minute sessions in innovative formats: up to 750 words outlining the form, content and rationale for the session.
- Please include a biographical by-line of no more than 50 words.
Send abstracts and event queries to Prof Walter van de Leur W.vandeLeur@uva.nl by 31 March 2017.
- Walter van de Leur, Chair – Conservatory of Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam.
- Christa Bruckner-Haring – University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
- Nicholas Gebhardt – Birmingham City University.
- George McKay – University of East Anglia.
- Loes Rusch – Birmingham City University and University of Amsterdam.
- Catherine Tackley – University of Liverpool.
- Tony Whyton – Birmingham City University.
This conference builds on the legacy of the Rhythm Changes ‘Jazz Cultures and European Identities’ research project (www.rhythmchanges.net). Rhythm Changes was initially funded as part of the first joint research programme of Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) which ran from 2010–2013. The project team continues to develop networking opportunities and champions collaborative research into transnational jazz studies.
Keynote speaker biographies
Sherrie Tucker is Professor of American Studies (University of Kansas), and the author of Dance Floor Democracy: the Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen (Duke 2014), Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s (Duke 2000) and co-editor, with Nichole T. Rustin, of Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies (Duke 2008). She is a member of two major collaborative research initiatives: International Institute of Critical Improvisation Studies and Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice. She was the Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies in 2004–2005.
Wolfram Knauer has served as the director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt since its inception in 1990. He studied musicology, English and American literature, art history and sociology and holds a Ph.D. from Kiel University. Knauer’s scholarly credits include several books and numerous essays in international publications and scholarly journals. He was the first non-American Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies (Spring 2008). His most recent books are a (musical) biography of Louis Armstrong, and a biography of Charlie Parker (both Reclam Verlag).
The organising committee met at Amsterdam Conservatory in late September 2016 to reflect on the Birmingham conference at Easter, and to discuss the theme and call for papers for our 2017 conference…. Announcement imminent, but do note the 2017 dates below! The committee consists of (L-R in photo) Dr Loes Rusch (BCU), Dr Christa-Bruckner-Haring (Graz), Prof Tony Whyton (BCU), Prof Nick Gebhardt (BCU), Prof Walter van de Leur (Amsterdam) and ace photographer Prof George McKay (UEA).
The very few remaining Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia conference t-shirts are now available online through BCU’s online store. Please click here.
Sizes are limited so order now to avoid disappointment.
Birmingham boasts a wide range of independent restaurants and bars. Click here to for a link to Independent Birmingham’s website, which offers summaries of the eateries available in Birmingham.
Recommended by Nick:
Cherry Red– John Bright Street, City Centre
Bill’s– Bullring Shopping Centre
Brew Dog- John Bright Street, City Centre
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.