The School of Music at the Australian National University hosts a three-day conference exploring new and future directions in jazz research, collaboration, education, and performance praxis. With the theme Jazz Futures, we highlight three key themes relevant for examining present and potential transformations within jazz worlds in the twenty first century:
1. Intercultural Jazz: Jazz Fissures and Fusions;
2. Reimagining the Jazz Artist;
3. Jazz in the Digital Age.
Dates: March 13-15, 2024
Location: ANU School of Music
ANU College of Arts & Sciences / The Australian National University
Building 100, William Herbert Place / Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Keynote: Yoko Suzuki, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, University of Pittsburgh
1. Intercultural Jazz: Jazz Fissures and Fusions
The first prioritizes alternative and under-examined ways of recognising how jazz has remained vital through its connection to musical styles considered periphery or adjacent to its now standardised twentieth century repertoire and performance praxis. Here, we open up possibilities within jazz for expanded intercultural collaborations and embrace various styles of music from popular musics to traditional, folk, and classical musics from around the world which engage in some way in the jazz aesthetic. Here we welcome presentations on intercultural jazz explorations from the Global South or from groups under-recognized in the Global North.
2. Reimagining the Jazz Artist
A second prominent theme of the conference highlights alternative ways of imagining the jazz artist beyond twentieth century conceptions, such as through reflections of how one’s perceived identity impacts reception and career trajectories in the jazz world. In this sense, we seek to interrogate in what ways particular performers, by virtue of their race, cultural background, (dis)ability, gender, or sexual orientation, have been variously excluded or ‘othered’ in relation to performance expectations of the prototypical jazz artist. Understanding the continued role that intersecting categories play in jazz’s presentation, curation, canonization, and historicization remains paramount. Conversely, acknowledging how particular identities have always figured as adjacent to jazz with its prototypical or normative ‘jazz masculinity’ remains equally necessary. This theme offers ways of interrogating not only the jazz artist but new ways of imaging this figure, aided by new forms of jazz mentoring, media representations, and educational curricula etc. as avenues for reimaging this role in ways more inclusive and equitable.
3. Jazz in the Digital Age
A final and inter-related theme embraces the incorporation of new media and production, recording, and dissemination practices leading to jazz’s continued vitality and renewal in the digital and post-digital era. Here we examine how such practices have (or not) engendered new pathways for jazz creativity for a wider range of performers and through new practices and networks. We also challenge the notion that new media and modern technical platforms always necessarily open up opportunities for more democratic or inclusive jazz participation. Given recent debates, we explore how some media may have created new obstacles for women and girls and for other under-represented cultural groups.
Call for Papers:
We seek conference papers 20 minutes in length as well as workshops, panel discussions, and masterclasses on the conference’s three themes, but we will consider topics related to the broader theme of jazz futures. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Kristin.McGee@anu.edu.au by October 15, 2023.