Jazz Studies

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, and is engaged in numerous partnerships with universities and non-academic organisations across Europe, the United States, Australia and the Asian Pacific region.

The cluster has supported a number of 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), Keychanges at Cheltenham Jazz Festival (AHRC M3C Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship), Musical Theatre and All That Jazz (AHRC), and New Directions in Digital Jazz Studies (AHRC/NEH), along with a number of smaller awards. The cluster regularly hosts international jazz conferences, including the fourth Rhythm Changes: Jazz Utopia conference in 2016 and Documenting Jazz in 2020, which was jointly hosted with the BCU Arts, Design and Media Archive. The cluster also benefits from access to a BCU-based satellite collection of the National Jazz Archive. Our aim is to place jazz in the context of major cultural transformations in order to critically and imaginatively break down the barriers between how we think about music and how we think about its relationship to the arts, culture, society, politics and history more broadly.

Areas of activity include:

  • Jazz cultures and histories
  • Jazz and the media
  • Jazz festivals and heritage
  • Jazz and technology
  • Cultures of improvisation
  • Jazz practice as research
  • Jazz and philosophy
  • Documenting jazz
  • Jazz and the music industry

Cluster Lead: Prof Tony Whyton and Dr Pedro Cravinho

Jazz musician playing the saxaphone

Research projects 

Here you'll find the full list of our research projects across the Jazz Studies research cluster.
Research staff - Advanced Materials Manufacturing

Members and partners

Learn more about the academic team working in the cluster.

Interested in our Media and Cultural Studies PhD?

If you have any questions or queries regarding our Media and Cultural Studies PhD, or if you have a research idea you would like to discuss, please send us an initial PhD enquiry. This gives us an opportunity to answer your questions and/or talk through and focus your PhD research proposal before you make your final online application.

View Media and Cultural Studies PhD