Tag Archives: London Jazz Festival

New research article, ‘The heritage of slavery in British jazz festivals’

This new work has just been published online in the International Journal of Heritage Studies; it will also be available soon in a special issue of the journal I am co-editing with Prof Tony Whyton, that features research on heritage and (jazz) festivals from the recently-ended EU-funded Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music Festivals in Europe (CHIME) project. 

Download a free copy of my article via this link: The heritage of slavery in British jazz festivals. And here is the abstract, that tells about the contents… I hope you find it of interest. 


This article explores site-specific heritage questions of the contemporary cultural practice of festivals of jazz – a key transatlantic music form – by bringing together three areas for discussion and development: questions of slavery heritage and legacy; the location, built environment and (touristic) offer of the historic city; and the contemporary British jazz festival, its programme and the senses or silences of (historical) situatedness in the festival package. Other artistic forms, cultural practices and festivals are involved in self-reflexive efforts to confront their own pasts; such are discussed as varying processes of the decolonisation of knowledge and culture. This provides the critical and cultural context for consideration of the jazz festival in the Georgian urban centre. Preliminary analysis of relevant jazz festivals’ programmes, commissions and concerts leads to interrogating the relationship – of silence, of place – between jazz in Britain, historic or heritage locations and venues, and the degree or lack of understanding of the transatlantic slave trade. The heritage centres clearly associated with the slave trade that also have significant (jazz) festivals referred to include Bristol, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Lancaster, Liverpool, London, and Manchester.

signage to other jazz festivals, at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Montpellier Gardens (note elegant Georgian townhouses, right background)

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London Jazz Festival symposium, Thinking With Jazz, Southbank Centre, Sunday 24 November

London Jazz Festival logoText below from the LJF website. Academic speakers through the day include Prof Walter van de Leur, Prof Andrew Dubber, Dr Nick Gebhardt. I’m chairing the panel on jazz festivals, with John Cumming (Serious/London Jazz Festival), Steve Mead (Manchester Jazz Festival). Gonna be a good day!

THINKING WITH JAZZ

Come and tune into a series of panel sessions that investigate the structure, resonance and importance of jazz in today’s cultural environment. Co-hosted with Tony Whyton and George McKay, leading lights in the team that produced the international research project, Rhythm Changes – Jazz Cultures and European Identities, this programme forms the centrepiece of a new collaboration between the Festival and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connected Communities programme.

2pm – THE VALUE AND IMPACT OF JAZZ FESTIVALS

3pm – THE JAZZ INDUSTRY – LOOKING FORWARD

4pm – LOOKING BACK TODAY

5pm – WHY RESEARCH MATTERS – THE CONTEXT OF JAZZ IN 2013

Venue: Level 4 Blue Bar. We look forward to seeing you at our Birthday Party!

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