Rethinking Jazz Cultures, Thursday night concert offer, Band on the Wall, Manchester

And here is another good deal for delegates coming to the Rhythm Changes conference this week in Salford. After the opening reception at CUBE Gallery in Manchester city centre on Thursday, we’ve arranged a special discount for a terrific jazz gig at one of the city’s leading live music club venues, the Band on the Wall. (25 Swan Street, in the Northern Quarter.) It just keeps getting better and better …

A very special jazz double bill featuring the spectacular and visceral mash-up of rock, jazz and dance music of Troyka plus the Anton Hunter Trio whose debut at last year’s Manchester Jazz Festival got everyone talking about this immensely creative new outfit.


Troyka are Chris Montague (guitars and loops), Joshua Blackmore (drums) and Kit Downes (organ), three young musicians based in London whose intense live shows have seen them hotly tipped to follow in the foot steps of Polar Bear and Portico Quartet and become the next young band to explode from the capital’s fertile jazz scene. A multi-textured trio with a febrile imagination where no role is pre-defined, their music twists and mutates in an ongoing dialogue inspired by a shared love of Aphex Twin, the angular world of iconclastic New York saxophonist Tim Berne and the blues-jazz-rock groove of legendary Steely Dan and Billy Cobham guitarist Wayne Krantz.

Anton Hunter Trio

The Anton Hunter Trio made its debut at Band On The Wall at Manchester Jazz Festival 2012 and showcases material at the borders of composition and improvisation. More introspective and spacious than his work with HAQ or the Beats & Pieces Big Band, there is, as ever, still plenty of room for freedom and exploration within the structures, whilst not letting go of strong melodies. The trio is completed by his “Skamel” bandmates Johnny Hunter on drums and James Adolpho on bass.

This concert begins at 8pm but the venue’s Picturehouse Cafe Bar is open earlier for delicious food and drinks. Full price tickets at the door are £14.00 but Rhythm Changes delegates pay £8.00. Yes, in these hard economic times, we are still supporting venues, live musicians, but also looking after our delegates!

Jazz and Cinema conference, University of Cardiff, 1 November 2013

Some RC-ers will be interested in this call for papers for both a conference and a special issue of the journal The Soundtrack, on the theme of jazz and cinema.

Call for Papers

The conference will gather academic scholars and others with an interest in the relationship between jazz and cinema from across a range of disciplines.

Possible themes could include:

    • Analysis of the use of pre-existing jazz recordings to soundtrack films
    • Analysis of purpose-made jazz soundtracks
    • The social implications of the use of jazz in cinema
    • The historical development of jazz in cinema
    • Jazz musicians on the screen, an exploration of jazz musicians appearances in film

Other topics around the broader theme of Jazz & Cinema are also invited for submission.

We are delighted to confirm our keynote speaker will be Dr Nicolas Pillai from Warwick University. Dr Pillai is currently researching jazz in British film and television, as well as teaching more widely on music and visual culture. He has given papers on European jazz culture as an invited speaker at the National Jazz Archive and at Rollins College, Florida.

Selected papers from the conference will be published in The Soundtrack special issue on jazz and cinema in 2014.

Please send an abstract of 300 words and a short bio to

Deadline for abstract submission: 1st June 2013.

Successful submissions will be notified no later than 1st July 2013.

Further information about the conference is available here.

Amiri Baraka in Manchester, 10 October 2012

As part of the Manchester Literature Festival:
Amiri Baraka
With support from Young Identity
Wednesday 10th October, 8pm
At the Contact Theatre
Oxford Road

Tickets: 10/6 concessions. Book on 0161 274 0600 or Contact Website

Tilt presents the world-renowned poet Amiri Baraka, a leading figure of the evolution of the spoken word genre, who has influenced politics, artistic practice and cultural change on an international scale. Formerly known as LeRoi Jones, Baraka has produced over 40 books of plays, writing essays, poems and music history, is an esteemed lecturer, and has won numerous awards – including a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and a Rockerfeller Foundation Award. He will be reading from his rich collection of work and talking with Dr Corinne Fowler about his career and influences. Members of Manchester’s talented young writers’ collective Young Identity (supported by Commonword and the Big Lottery) will be warming up proceedings. An unmissable experience produced by Tilt in association with Contact.

Thinking With Jazz symposium, Lancaster University, 21 September 2012

Thinking With Jazz

This one-day event is co-organised with Lancaster Jazz Festival, and features well-known jazz journalists, practitioners, and academics discussing issues of nationalism in jazz, the cultural politics of jazz, and the meaning of improvisation. This free event is informal and open to the public.

10 A.M.
Coffee and Welcome (Foyer, LICA Building)

10.30 A.M.
Session 1: Jazz Nation (A29, LICA Building)
Chair: Tony Whyton
Panel: Deborah Mawer, Alyn Shipton and Catherine Tackley

12 P.M. – 1 P.M.
Lunch Break

1 P.M. – 2.30 P.M.
Session 2: The Cultural Politics of This course has the following components:

  • Teams define project ideas
  • Collect necessary data
  • Team-directed work w/ faculty guidance
  • Boneyard Creek Stormwater
  • C-U Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Abbott Power Plant
  • Assembly Hall Field Trip
  • Recycling: Materials in Transportation
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Boneyard Creek Stormwater Management
  • Engineering, Policy and Law
  • Waste to Energy

4D Chair: George McKay
Panel: Alan Rice, Walter van de Leur and Tim Wall

2.30 P.M. – 3 P.M.
Coffee Break (Foyer, LICA Building)

3 P.M. – 4.30 P.M.
Session 3: Improvisations (Jack Hylton Room)
Chair: Nicholas Gebhardt
Panel: Christophe de Bezenac, Kathy Dyson and Adam Fairhall

6 P.M.
Drinks Sun Street Stompers (Dukes Bar, Lancaster)

7.30 P.M.
Sun Café (Sun Street, Lancaster)

For further information contact Nick Gebhardt on or check out the festival website at

Indigenising jazz spaces: The Old Duke, Bristol, UK

Bristol in the West Country is a noted stronghold of jazz practice in Britain–from, for instance, Acker Bilk (cl, trad) to Keith Tippett (p, free) and Andy Sheppard (ts, ss, contemporary). This famous local pub has struck me as an interesting spatial example of the way jazz is indigenised, if you like (not sure I do entirely), has been adopted and adapted to the national cultural practice. The dominant masculine space of the English pub has been one of those where jazz has happened (in Circular Breathing I suggested that the pub as jazz venue was one reason for jazz’s predominant masculinity in Britain)–so the very space of the traditional British pub was re-sounded by jazz in the 20th century. It’s worth remembering that a key space often referenced in British jazz histories for the development of the music was the Red Barn, Chislehurst, Kent, birthplace of George Webb”s Dixielanders.

But The Old Duke in a historic quarter of Bristol is more than that. Most pubs in Britain that are The Old Duke, or the Duke, are think because historically they commemorate the military achievements of the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The Old Duke has taken that English tradition of pub-naming–and of imperial history–and recontextualised it, subverted it, even signified it maybe. (How signifyingly clever that the Dukes” names are so very similar: W/Ellington!) After all, Bristol was a port the wealth of which was predicated in the 18th century on the triangulation trade, including the slave trade, and The Old Duke is by the Docks. So here at The Old Duke, as befits a jazz space, a portrait of a white imperial old world hero (the Duke of Wellington) is replaced by one of a black transnational new world hero (Duke Ellington). In terms of cultural identity, Europe and America, history and modernity, jazz and public pleasure, The Old Duke fascinates.