Prof Tony Whyton

Tony Whyton crop image

Professor of Jazz Studies

Birmingham School of Media
Email:
Tony.Whyton@bcu.ac.uk
Phone:
0121 202 8621
Biography

Tony Whyton is Professor of Jazz Studies at BCU. His critically acclaimed books Jazz Icons: Heroes, Myths and the Jazz Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album (Oxford University Press, 2013) have sought to develop cross-disciplinary methods of musical enquiry. As an editor, Whyton published the Jazz volume of the Ashgate Library of Essays on Popular Music in 2011 and continues to work as co-editor of the Jazz Research Journal (Equinox).

In 2014, he founded the new Routledge series ‘Transnational Studies in Jazz’ alongside BCU colleague Dr Nicholas Gebhardt. Gebhardt and Whyton also edited The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music (Routledge) in 2015, a collection that explores the ways in which musician-led collectives offer a powerful model for rethinking jazz practices in the post-war period.

From 2010-2013, Whyton was Project Leader for the ground-breaking HERA-funded Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities project (www.rhythmchanges.net), where he led a consortium of 13 researchers working across 7 Universities in 5 countries. He is currently the Project Leader for the transnational research project Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (www.chimeproject.eu).

Current Activity

Tony is currently working as the Project Leader for the Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals project (Chime Project).

In addition to working on books and articles on jazz history and culture, he continues to co-edit the Jazz Research Journal and the Routledge ‘Transnational Studies in Jazz’ monograph series.

Areas of Expertise
  • Jazz studies
  • European jazz scenes
  • Jazz as a transnational practice
  • Festivals and cultural heritage
Qualifications
  • BA (Hons)
  • MMus
  • PhD
Memberships

Tony is a member of:

  • PRS
  • ALCS
  • Jazz Research Network
Research

Tony’s research works across the boundaries of musicology, media and cultural studies and promotes research as both an enterprise and Knowledge Exchange activity. He has been a champion of jazz studies research worldwide, developing a number of international conferences, publications and collaborative research projects.

Current projects

Tony is currently Project Leader for CHIME (Cultural Heritage ad Improvised Music in European Festivals). CHIME explores the uses and re-uses of different types of heritage through the study of jazz and improvised music festivals, and examines how changing relationships between music, festivals and cultural heritage sites renegotiate established understandings and uses of heritage.

Units of assessment

  • 35 (Music, Drama, Dane and Performing Arts)
  • 36 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies)

Activities/conference participation

March 2016 Researcher in Residence, Festa do Jazz (Lisbon)

January 2016 Presentation at the ‘Hidden Musicians Revistied’ Conference, Milton Keynes

November 2015 Professor in Residence, EFG London Jazz Festival

February 2015 'Talk to the Animals: a jazz riff on Zoomusicology', invited presentation, Sonic Fusion Festival, Salford Media City UK

January 2015 'Jazz Cosmopolitanism from East to West' [Keynote], Jazz Cosmopolitanism from East to West symposium, Ningbo University China

December 2014 ‘Keeping Standards? The Changing Rhythms of Jazz’, invited presentation, Penang Island Jazz Festival Island Forum, Malaysia

November 2014 Moving to Higher Ground: The Changing Discourse of European Jazz, 1960-1980', [Keynote], Growing Up: Jazz in Europa 1960-1980, University of Lucerne

October 2014 ‘Cold Commodities: Discourses of Decay and Purity in a Globalised Jazz World’, Inverting Globalisation Conference, University of Amsterdam

September 2014 ‘On Jazz and Cultural Diplomacy: A Conversation with Darius Brubeck’, Jazz Beyond Borders Conference, Conservatorium van Amsterdam

May 2014 ‘Stellar Regions: towards new jazz conceptions’ [Keynote], New Jazz Conceptions Colloquium, University of Warwick

May 2014 'Re-reading jazz: blurring the boundary between fiction and non-fiction', invited presentation and plenary speaker, Jazz in Word: European (Non)Fiction, University of Vienna

March 2014 ‘Jazz, Myths and Marketing’ invited presentation, Newland Lecture Series, University of Hull

Grants and funding

2015-2018 JPI Cultural Heritage Programme, Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (PI)

2015-2016 AHRC/HERA Cultural Encounters programme, Knowledge Exchange support project (PI)

2009-2013 HERA JRP, Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities (PI)

2013 HERA KE Fund – The Time and The Place: Culture and identity in Today’s Europe (PI)

2006–2009 ESRC - Investigating Musical Performance (Co-I)

2006 – 2007 -JISC – Jazz Hub (PI)

2005- 2007 – PRSF - CUK Big Band/Creative Exchange (PI)

Postgraduate Supervision

Tony currently supervises students who explore different approaches to jazz studies, including critical approaches to improvisation and composition, the changing representation of musicians and scenes, and jazz festivals and cultural heritage sites.

Publications

Books

  • Whyton, T., Gebhardt, N. & Rustin, N. (eds.), The Routledge Companion to New Jazz Studies [in negotiation]
  • Gebhardt, N. & Whyton, T. (eds.), The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music! (New York: Routledge, 2015)
  • Whyton, T., Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2013)
  •  Whyton, T. (ed.), Jazz [Library of Essays on Popular Music] (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011) 544pp   
  • Whyton, T., Jazz Icons: Heroes, Myths and the Jazz Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) [paperback published 2013]

 Chapters in books

  • Whyton, T., 'Seeking Resolution: John Coltrane and the audio visual' in Heile, B. et al (eds), Watching Jazz (New York: Oxford University Press, in press)
  • Whyton, T., ‘Brilliant Corners: The Development of Jazz in Higher Education’ in Papageorgi, I and Welch, G (eds.), Advanced Musical Performance: Investigations in Higher Education Learning [SEMPRE Studies in the Psychology of Music] (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 21-31
  • Whyton, T., ‘Crosscurrents: the cultural dynamics of jazz’, in Knauer, W. (ed.), Darmstädter Jazz Forum (Darmstadt: JazzInstitut Darmstadt, 2014), 165-174
  • Whyton, T., ‘Song of Praise: Musicians, Myths and the “Cult” of John Coltrane’ in Duffett, M (ed.), Popular Music Fandom: Identities, Roles and Practices (New York: Routledge, 2014), 97-114
  • Whyton, T., ‘Europe and the New Jazz Studies’ in Cerchiari, L., Cugny, L., and Kerschbaumer, F., (eds.), Eurojazzland (Northeastern University Press, 2012), 366-380.
  • Whyton, T [trans. V. Cotro], 'Four for Trane: le jazz et la voix désincarnée', in: Cotro, V (ed.), John Coltrane: L’oeuvre et son empreinte  (Outre Mesure: Paris, 2011) 149-164
  • Whyton, T., ‘The Changing Discourse of Jazz as Popular Music’ in Whyton, T. (ed.), Library of Essays on Popular Music: Jazz (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), xi-xxiii
  • Whyton, T., ‘Four for Trane: Jazz and the Disembodied Voice’ in Whyton, T. (ed.), Library of Essays on Popular Music: Jazz (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011)
  • Whyton, T., ‘Acting on Impulse! Recordings and the Reification of Jazz’inDogantan-Dack, M. (ed.),  Recorded Music: Philosophical and Critical Reflections (Middlesex University Press, November 2008), 155-171

Articles in refereed journals

Single-authored

  • Whyton, T., ‘Jazz Research in Britain’ Jazzforschung/Jazz Research 42, (November 2010), pp.131-146.
  • Whyton, T., ‘Four for Trane: Jazz and the Disembodied Voice’, Jazz Perspectives(October 2007) - Vol.1 No 2, pp.115-132. ISSN: 1749-4060.
  • Whyton, T., ‘Birth of the School: discursive methodologies in jazz education’, Music Education Research (March 2006) - Vol.8 No.1, pp.65-81. ISSN: 1461-3808.
  • Whyton, T., ‘Telling Tales: witnessing and the jazz anecdote’, the source: challenging jazz criticism (vol. 1, pp.115-131) and Jazz Research Journal [Online], Volume 1 Number 1 (Equinox Publishing, 1 March 2004) ISSN: 1753-8637.

Collaborative

  • Bruckner-Haring and Whyton, T. (eds.), Rhythm Changes: Historical Overviews of Partner Countries (Graz: Institute for Jazz Research, 2013)
  • Bruckner-Haring and Whyton, T. (eds.), Rhythm Changes: Statistical Overviews of Partner Countries (Graz: Institute for Jazz Research, 2013)
  • Goh, F with Whyton, T., ‘Strength in Numbers: A Study of Europe Jazz Network’ (2011)

Editorial positions

  • Co-editor, Jazz Research Journal (Equinox)
  • Co-editor, Transnational Studies in jazz Series (Routledge)
Media Work

Recent media appearances

Appearance on AHRC film – ‘Carnivalising the Creative Economy’.

Appearance on films for the HERA programme.

Work With Industry

Tony continues to promote research as both an enterprise and Knowledge Exchange activity and has worked closely with a range of international networks and festivals, including the Europe Jazz Network. He is the 2015 Professor in Residence at the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Links and Social Media