Save the date!

The eighth Rhythm Changes Conference will take place at the Institute for Jazz Research, at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, from 3 to 6 April 2024. This conference is organised in conjunction with the fourteenth International Jazz Research Conference.

The Call for Papers will be circulated shortly.

Updates on the conference and information about travel and accommodation will be available on our website and Facebook.

Call for Papers: 2020 conference, Amsterdam

The seventh Rhythm Changes conference: Jazz Now! will take place at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Amsterdam University of the Arts), the Netherlands, from 27 to 30 August 2020. This conference marks the tenth anniversary of the Rhythm Changes project.

Keynote speaker

Lucas Dols (Sounds of Change Foundation)

Closing address

Prof. Charles Hersch (Cleveland State University)

Special plenary session

Rhythm Changes tenth anniversary panel

We invite submissions for Jazz Now! a four-day multidisciplinary conference bringing together leading researchers across the arts and humanities. The event will feature academic papers, panels, roundtables, and poster sessions.

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CFP. Beyond Genre: Jazz as Popular Music

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.

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Jazz Beyond Borders Conference (4-7 September 2014, Conservatory of Amsterdam)

Call for Papers

The Third International Rhythm Changes Conference, hosted by the Conservatory of Amsterdam. The event is delivered in partnership with the University of Amsterdam, University of Salford, Birmingham City University, Open University, and Amsterdam World Jazz City 2014.

Keynote Speakers

Steven Feld (musician, filmmaker and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music at the University of New Mexico)

John Gennari (Associate Professor of English and Director, ALANA U.S. Ethnic Studies Program, University of Vermont)

Conference outline

Jazz Beyond Borders (and: Beyond the Borders of Jazz) seeks to critically explore how borders – real and imagined – have shaped, and continue to shape, debates about jazz. Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities ( sought to question traditional ways of understanding and articulating jazz history and the concept of moving beyond borders – whether geographical or aesthetic – has played a key role in the project’s research strategy. Borders can be multifaceted and fluid, from geographical boundaries, to disciplinary fields, there can be theoretical or institutional borders, which permeate discourses relating to the cultural, social, political, national and ethnic as well as artistic, performative, canonical, aesthetic, stylistic and genre-related understandings of jazz. Because of the music’s inherent hybridity, jazz provides an excellent lens through which such borders, and border-policing processes, can be questioned and analysed. The music is ideally placed to think about the dividing lines between, for instance, academia and journalism, popular and art music, “new jazz studies” and “traditional musicology”, the sonic and the visual, and so forth.

Jazz Beyond Borders is a three day multi-disciplinary conference that brings together leading researchers across the arts and humanities and is the largest event of its kind world-wide. Based on our previous conferences (Amsterdam 2011 and Salford 2013), we expect well over 100 participants. The Conference committee invites papers and panel proposals that feed into the Conference theme and is interested in featuring perspectives from a range of international contexts. Although not restricted to specific themes, possible topics could include:

  • Exploring borders: framing, understanding and policing borders; transnational, transcultural, postcolonial, and global perspectives; jazz and its musical others; jazz beyond jazz (jazz as lifestyle from cooking to comedy); genre politics; “frontier” myths; reconfiguring gender, race, ethnicity, disability
  • Challenging binaries: questioning perceived antonyms such as Afrological/Eurological, composition/improvisation, professionals/amateurs, musicians/audiences, theory/practice
  • Jazz historiographies: exploring origins, mythologies, cultural memory, and the different constructions of jazz history
  • (Re-)Mediating jazz: evaluating jazz in film, advertising, literature, art, journalism, criticism
  • Jazz futures: questioning disciplinary boundaries; new directions for jazz research; changing status jazz studies within musicology

The Conference committee welcomes individual papers and proposals for panels and round table discussions. For individual papers, abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted. Panels and round table proposals should include a session overview, participant biographies and description of individual contributions. Abstracts and proposals (as well as event queries) should be sent to Professor Walter van de Leur ( by 1 March 2014.

Conference Committee

Walter van de Leur (Chair, Conservatory of Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam), Nicholas Gebhardt (Birmingham City University), George McKay (University of Salford), Loes Rusch (University of Amsterdam), Catherine Tackley (Open University), Tony Whyton (University of Salford)

Steven Feld, the late Guy Warren and afrifone inventor Nii Noi Nortey
Steven Feld, the late Guy Warren and afrifone inventor Nii Noi Nortey

Keynote speaker biographies

Steven Feld is a musician, filmmaker and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music at the University of New Mexico. His books include Sound and Sentiment and Music Grooves (with Charles Keil). As a jazz trombonist he recorded and performed with Leadbelly Legacy Band, Live Action Brass Band, Tom Guralnick Trio, and Bonefied. Since 2004 he has been studying the spectral presence of jazz in West Africa, represented in a CD, DVD, and book project titled Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra. In addition to documentary work, the Accra project includes performing on ashiwa box bass with the Accra Trane Station trio, dedicated to points of contact between African idioms and the legacy of Coltrane”s later works. Connecting the ATS project to the contemporary Euro-Am jazz scene, ATS collaborated with the Amsterdam-based jazz flute/reed player Alex Coke on the CD Topographies of the Dark.

John Gennari is an American Studies-trained U.S. cultural historian and nonfiction writer with specializations in jazz and popular music studies, Italian American cultural studies, food studies, race and ethnic studies, and cultural criticism. He is the author of Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and Its Critics (University of Chicago Press, 2006), which won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Criticism and the John Cawelti Award for the Best Book in American Culture. He is currently completing a book examining how practices of expressive ethnicity in music, film, sports, cooking, and eating reconfigure our understanding of Italian American culture. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, and the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia. An active member of the American Studies Association since 1993, he chaired the association’s Gabriel Dissertation Prize committee in 2008, and served on the Romero Book Prize committee in 2010.

Rhythm Changes

This conference builds on the legacy of the Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities ( research project. Rhythm Changes was initially funded as part of the Humanities in the European Research Area’s (HERA) first Joint Research programme which ran from 2010 – 2013. The project team continues to develop networking opportunities and champion collaborative research into transnational jazz studies.

Call for papers: Nostalgias

A special issue of Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music Studies

Edited by Hugh Dauncey (Newcastle University) & Christopher Tinker (Heriot-Watt University)

Volume!, the French peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of popular music, seeks contributions for a special issue on nostalgia and popular music in a variety of national, international and transnational contexts.

CfP Fourth annual Jazz Education Network Conference, January 2-5, 2013, Atlanta, GA


The fourth annual Jazz Education Network Conference, January 2-5, 2013, Atlanta, GA is calling for submission of research papers related to its theme “Networking the Jazz Arts Community – Local to Global”. The research track solicits the submission of original, principled research papers dealing with topics related to audience development for jazz with focus on presenting and producing jazz events in traditional and new venues, and marketing and messaging about jazz events. Building on the success of 2012 Jazz Arts Initiative (JAI) Workshop Track, we are most interested in topics that link to the following two ideas:

Ways to Sustain Presenting and Producing in Smaller Venues: The JAI research findings demonstrate that venue preference is a significant decision factor for audiences when deciding whether or not to engage with jazz. Across almost all market segments, current and potential ticket buyers indicate they would most likely prefer to engage with jazz in clubs or lounges with small tables. Among 18 – 34 year olds, venue may be a significant barrier to participation. These findings require us to explore more questions like:

1) What is the new sustainable business model for presenting in small or unusual venues? Additional experimentation, dialogue, and assessment will allow JAG to scale findings to help organizations of all sizes and locales bring new energy to jazz, as well as emerging, independent and creative music.
Ways to Leverage Story, Context, and Messaging for Deeper Engagement: As the Columbus Jazz Arts Group (JAG) further explores the role venue plays in jazz participation we must also animate segmentation solutions for current and potential jazz ticket buyers in Central Ohio. The next step for full implementation and impact of this data is to design, test, implement and refine messages/images that motivate audiences to action. The research will guide a variety of smaller experiments, perhaps in tandem with the venue experiments, about ways to effectively communicate with each market segment (10 in all), or across segments simultaneously.

The research track will run parallel with presentations by the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus on the Jazz Audiences Initiative. The research serves as a framework for testing new strategies for overcoming barriers to jazz participation and for building jazz audiences through more targeted marketing and programming efforts. For more information on the initiative and a review of the literature, visit:

Submission guidelines:
Submit a 1-2 page abstract by June 15, 2011. Papers should directly relate to the research questions above and may include:

  • Historical perspectives on jazz/ arts audiences
  • Quantitative studies
  • Case studies
  • Literature reviews

Submissions need to be Word documents in .doc or .pdf format. Presentations will be 50 minutes in length, including a minimum of 10 minutes for questions and answers. A projector and screen will be available, presenters will need to provide their own computers and projector adapters. Presenters must be members of JEN and attend the JEN conference. For more information, to submit an abstract, and join JEN go to