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

May 15 2015 Published by under News, Publication

McKay The Pop Festival lo-res coverWe are delightedA?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’ a??A?ProfA?William Straw; ‘a lively, challenging, accessible and eclectic collection’ a?? Prof Chris Gibson; ‘[in]A?this wonderful book, McKay assembles a series of masterful essays’A?a?? Prof Andy Bennett.

In particular essays by Anne (Detroit Jazz Festival) andA?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 perspectivesa??the urban concept city, the role of music and the festivala??s connection with both. I finally offer a reading of the festival with Christopher Smalla??s concept of musickinga??music as a verb rather than an objecta??in mind. That is, a ritual that functions as a??a form of organized behaviour in which humans use the language of gesture a?? 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 anothera??. 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

George McKay

Chapter 1.A?a??The pose a?? is a stance’: popular music and the cultural politics of festival in 1950s Britain
George McKay

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

Chapter 3.A?a??Let there be rock!a?? Myth and ideology in the rock festivals of the transatlantic counterculture
Nicholas Gebhardt

Chapter 4.A?a??As real as real can get’: race, representation, and rhetoric at Wattstax, 1972
Gina Arnold

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 10.A?Alternative playworlds: psytrance festivals, deep play and creative zones of transcendence
Alice Oa??Grady

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

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

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

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


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Knowledge Transfer Event in Austria: Jazz in der Kulturlandschaft A?sterreich

Feb 14 2013 Published by under Events

On July 2, 2012, the Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) under the direction of Prof. Dr. Franz Kerschbaumer organized a one-day symposium, in cooperation with the Music Information Center Austria (MICA) through their representative Helge Hinteregger and held on MICAa??s premises as part of Jazz Fest Wien. Entitled a??Jazz in the Austrian Cultural Landscapea??, the symposium dealt with the role and importance of jazz in Austria, with jazz experts from different fields of the current jazz scene presenting their views on the topic. A round table discussion concluded the event.

The symposium was opened by Rhythm Changes project associate Christa Bruckner-Haring (KUG), who presented an overview of the research project, including its main aims and contents. Michael Kahr (KUG) talked about the Graz research project Jazz & the City: IdentitA?t einer Jazz(haupt)stadt [Identity of a jazz capital], also anchored at the KUG Institute for Jazz Research. Fritz Thom, a concert and festival organizer since decades and founder of the agency Live Performance Service (LPS), in his talk a??Entwicklung der Jazzfestivals in A?sterreich und Positionierung im internationalen Kontexta?? [Development of jazz festivals in Austria and positioning within an international context] offered insight into the organization of jazz events and successful jazz festivals such as a??Jazzfest Wiesena??, a??Jazzfestival Hollabrunna?? and a??Jazz Fest Wiena??. The next speaker, Ines Dominik a?? a vocalist and teacher at the Konservatorium Wien University and KUG, as well as a freelance journalist a?? discussed her view of the current role of jazz and the situation of jazz musicians (principally of the younger generation), including personal experiences, in her lecture a??Stimmiger Jazza?? [Harmonious jazz]. Researcher and music journalist Andreas Felber covered jazz in the media, claiming a??Und sie existiert doch: Mediale Berichterstattung A?ber Jazz in A?sterreicha?? [And still it exists: media coverage of jazz in Austria]. Although Felber sees a decline in jazz coverage in traditional media (television, radio, and print media) in recent years, he emphasized the importance of recognizing the quality reportage on jazz in radio and newspapers that does still exist. The second lecture session started with musician, composer and label owner Christoph Pepe Auer, who told the story of a??Session Work Records: Ein Jazzlabel aus A?sterreicha?? [A jazz label from Austria] a?? why he began his own label and how he managed to build it into a successful company in a rather short period of time. Musician and university professor Heinrich von Kalnein (KUG) focussed in his presentation a??Universal Codes: Zur Situation des A?sterreichischen Jazz aus universitA?rer Sichta?? [The situation of Austrian jazz from an academic point of view] on Austrian jazz education, specifically university teachers and students.

The final round table discussion included Christoph Pepe Auer, Ines Dominik, Andreas Felber, Heinrich von Kalnein, and Paul Zauner, a musician, jazz promoter and label owner, and was dedicated to the question: Does an Austrian identity in jazz exist? In the debate with the audience it became clear that very different opinions exist in this matter: Some believed that Austrian jazz does indeed have its own identity, defined by the playing style(s) of Austrian musicians and useful for promotional purposes. Some, on the other hand, saw no evidence for such an identity, and still others saw no musical or promotional advantage in the idea of a national identity, considering the countrya??s shadowed past and the problematic nature of nationalistic ideas.

The different perspectives of the invited jazz experts helped frame an overall picture of the role and position of jazz in Austria during the one-day symposium; when the subject of national identity arose, the very different viewpoints of Austrian jazz experts and jazz enthusiasts came to light. Altogether, the results of the symposium are important not only for the Austrian project results, but also form a significant part of the overall Rhythm Changes project outcomes and comparisons with the partner countries.

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Institute for Jazz Research library

Nov 29 2012 Published by under News

Rhythm Changes project team meets in this terrific library in Graz. All these books yes are about jazz!!


Prof George McKay
University of Salford
(sent from my phone)

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Rhythm Changes Conference 2011

Oct 12 2010 Published by under Events

The first Rhythm Changes Conference will take place in Amsterdam from 2-4 SeptemberA?2011.A? The international event, co-hosted with the Amsterdam Conservatory, will focus on the theme of a??Jazz and National Identitiesa??.A? Keynote speakers will include Professor Bruce Johnson (Universities of Macquarie, Turku and Glasgow) and Professor Ronald Radano (University of Wisconsin-Madison).A? For further information, click on the Call for Papers

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