Research Clusters

Since 2013, the jazz studies cluster at BCU has gained global recognition for research leadership in jazz. It boasts a large community of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, publishes world-leading jazz research, is host to regular symposia and conferences, and attracts significant external funding. The cluster currently supports three RCUK funded projects including Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (JPI Heritage Plus), Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics (AHRC) and Jazz on BBC-TV 1960-1969 (AHRC), as well as number of smaller awards and studentships (eight; two of which are funded by Midlands 3 Cities).

Our research focuses on developing new models for jazz scholarship in a number of key areas. Firstly, we explore different aspects of musical creativity, perception, and transformation within transnational jazz practices; secondly, we aim to understand how jazz mediates different concepts of meaning and value, subjectivity and identity, tradition and change; and, thirdly, we concentrate on the ways in which jazz can be used to inform other disciplines and subjects and challenge existing views of the world. More generally, our research attempts to place jazz within a space of continuous transformation, in order to critically and imaginatively break down the barriers between how we think about music and how we think about and analyse art, culture, society and history.

Cluster Leads: Dr. Nicolas PillaiProfessor Nick Gebhardt