Documenting Jazz Conference, 17 - 19 January 2019, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Dublin Institute of Technology

Documenting Jazz

17 - 19 January 2019

Dublin Institute of Technology, Conservatory of Music and Drama


The first jazz conference in Ireland will take place at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Conservatory of Music and Drama, Rathmines from 17 January to 19 January 2019. The event is delivered in partnership with the Society of Musicology Ireland, the Research Foundation for Music in Ireland and Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University, UK.


Since it was first named, jazz has been a phenomenon of mass-distributed sound, word and image. While its vernacular origins and emphasis on improvisation give primacy to live performance, the consumption of jazz is largely mediated through documentation of some form. This process of documentation has arguably been just as important as, and in some ways more important, than ‘the music itself’, shaping its reception and spread throughout the world.


In marking the centenary of the first documented jazz performance in Ireland, this conference seeks to ask how and why jazz has been documented, both historically and contemporaneously. We invite participants to consider who and what has been documented, by whom, and for what purposes. Since Scott DeVeaux’s ‘Constructing the Jazz Tradition: Jazz Historiography’, jazz studies scholars have become increasingly aware of the role of documentation in the construction of jazz narratives and of the need to critically appraise existing narratives. The committee welcomes submissions that investigating the power of documentation to shape the narratives and mythologies surrounding the music. While not restricted to specific themes, possible topics could include:


Documenting jazz histories: Explorations of how jazz has been historicised, by whom and for whom, internationally, nationally and locally. We invite submissions that address jazz performance in Ireland, including, but not restricted to its documentation, its mythology and its reception.


Documenting jazz in popular culture: Jazz has often been used to represent particular values and paradigms through its sound and imagery. We welcome papers that consider the values jazz has been used to portray or advance outside the environments in which it usually exists.


Documenting jazz as sound: Recorded sound is indelibly connected to technology. What affect have different technologies had in how jazz is performed and heard? How has the aural documentation of jazz affected its reception? How has it affected its production?


Documenting jazz in images: Image has always been important in documenting jazz, often strongly connected with race, stereotypes and mythology. What has jazz photography and jazz art meant for the wider consideration of jazz in society?


Documenting gender in jazz: Jazz has traditionally been treated as a male-dominated domain. We invite papers on issues of gender and its treatment in the documentation of jazz.


Documenting jazz in film: Jazz and film evolved side by side throughout the twentieth century. Papers are welcome on the examination of the relationship between jazz and the moving image.


Documenting jazz online: Jazz has always been linked to technology, however modern developments have fundamentally changed much of how we interact with jazz documentation. What does 21stcentury technology mean for documenting jazz?


Documenting Jazz on Television: Television has played a significant role in the dissemination of music in the post-WWII period. To what extent has television influenced the consumption of jazz more broadly? We invite papers focusing on the presence of jazz on television series, programmes, documentaries and other kinds of television production.




Proposals are invited in the following formats: 


  • Individual papers (20 mins duration plus 10 mins discussion, up to 250-word abstract).
  • Joint papers (max 2 speakers, same format as above).
  • Themed sessions (3 papers totalling 90 mins, up to 250 words per paper plus 250 outlining content and rationale for the session).
  • Round-table discussions (90 mins, max. 6 speakers. Up to 750 words outlining the format, content and rationale for the session).
  • Posters (up to 250-word abstract).


Proposals should include: 

  • Title for the paper and/or session.
  • Name, contact details and affiliation of the speaker(s). In the case of themed sessions and round-table sessions, the panel convenor.
  • Brief biography of the speaker(s) (50 words per speaker).
  • Details of technical requirements.

Please send to Dr Damian Evans by 30 June 2018. The programme committee will examine all abstracts by 21 July 2018, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.


Conference Committee:

Dr Damian Evans (DIT: Research Foundation for Music in Ireland, Chair)

Dr Catherine Ferris (DIT: Conservatory of Music and Drama)

Dr Kerry Houston (DIT: Conservatory of Music and Drama)

Dr Maria McHale (DIT: Conservatory of Music and Drama)

Dr Michael Nielsen (DIT: Conservatory of Music and Drama)

Dr Adrian Smith (DIT: Conservatory of Music and Drama)   


Programme Committee:

Dr Damian Evans (DIT: Research Foundation for Music in Ireland, Chair)

Dr Pedro Cravinho (Birmingham City University)

Dr Marian Jago (University of Leeds)

Dr John O’Flynn (Dublin City University)

Dr Loes Rusch (University of Amsterdam)

Dr Tom Sykes (University of Salford)

Prof Catherine Tackley (University of Liverpool)

Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis (Queen’s University, Belfast)



Keynote Speakers:


Krin Gabbard:

Krin Gabbard is Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at Columbia University.  In 2014 he retired from Stony Brook University where he had, since 1981, taught classical literature, film studies, and literary theory.  His books include Psychiatry and the Cinema(Univ. Chicago Press, 1987), Jammin’ at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema(Univ. Of Chicago Press, 1996), Black Magic: White Hollywood and African American Culture(Rutgers Univ. Press, 2004), Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture(Faber & Faber, 2008), and Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus (Univ. California Press, 2016).  At Columbia he teaches courses on jazz and American culture. He is the editor of two highly influential anthologies, Jazz Among the Discourses and Representing Jazz(both Duke Univ. Press, 1995). More recently, he has begun playing trumpet in a large jazz ensemble with reasonably talented non-professional musicians on Saturday afternoons.  He is also contemplating writing a memoir about his parents.


Gabriel Solis:

Gabriel Solis is a Professor of Musicology, Chair of Musicology, and Affiliate in African American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Monk’s Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making (Univ. of California Press, 2008) and Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall(Oxford Univ. Press, 2014), and co-editor with Bruno Nettl of Musical Improvisation: Art, Education, and Society(Univ. of Illinois Press, 2009). His articles on jazz, popular music, and Indigenous music in Australia and Papua New Guinea have appeared in such journals as Ethnomusicology, Popular Music and Society, The Musical Quarterly, and MusiCultures. With the support of a faculty fellowship from the NEH, he is currently working on a book tentatively titled Music and the Black Pacific: Indigenous Artists and the African Diaspora. He is also working with an international consortium of digital jazz studies scholars on a project titled "Dig that Lick: Analysing Large-Scale Data for Melodic Patterns in Jazz Performance."