World’s largest jazz conference swings into MediaCityUK

Tuesday 9 April 2013

The importance of jazz and its influence on different cultures will be explored at a three-day conference held at the University of Salford this week.

Guest speakers from over 20 countries will descend on MediaCityUK for the largest jazz research conference ever held, with presentations given by creative thinkers including leading academics, broadcasters, jazz performers and festival organisers.

Coinciding with Jazz Appreciation Month and coming before UNESCO International Jazz Day on 30 April, the Rethinking Jazz Cultures conference will encourage people to question the way jazz has been articulated, represented and understood, and will explore how music influences other arts and feeds into deeper questions concerning identity and place.

Running in parallel with the conference, Manchester’s CUBE Gallery will play host to an innovative photography exhibition from award-winning photographer Paul Floyd Blake, who has looked to capture jazz culture and challenge social musical roles. The diverse collection of photographs is being exhibited until Sunday 14 April and admission to the gallery on Portland Street is free of charge.

Both the exhibition and conference are part of Rhythm Changes, a €1m international research project which investigates jazz scenes and practices in different European settings. Conference organiser and Rhythm Changes Project Leader Professor Tony Whyton, from the University’s School of Arts and Media, said: “The influence of jazz is everywhere and varies in different national settings.

“This conference provides us with an opportunity to examine different incarnations of jazz and the way the music works globally. Hopefully the conference will also show how jazz cultures continue to thrive in different international settings today.”

Rethinking Jazz Cultures will take place at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK building from Thursday 11 April until Saturday 13 April.

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