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The AHRC at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2015

Date: 10/02/2015

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is supporting four events at this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which runs from 29th April to 4th May. The events are the result of an open call that ran last year, which invited arts and humanities researchers to submit innovative, interactive public engagement event proposals that showcased their research.

Mal Dean: Jazz Art, 29th April – 4th May

Across Festival site, free (unticketed)

This interactive exhibition across the festival site explores British artist Mal Dean’s illustrations of jazz musicians during the 1960s and 70s. Curated by Oliver Peterson Gilbert (Tate/University of Southampton), it features drawings published in Melody Maker, Time Out and Jazz News, which celebrate and criticise the players of the time.

When Britain Banned Jazz, Saturday 2nd May, 3.30pm – 4.30pm

Take Five Tent, free (ticket required)

Professor Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow) looks at the impact of the infamous ‘ban’ on US jazz musicians touring in the UK, caused by work permit restrictions in the period 1935-54. In a talk based on new research, he examines the origins of the ‘ban’ on US musicians, how it worked, why jazz was a focus, what was written about it and how it ended. As questions of immigration and workers’ rights remain high on the political agenda, what lessons can we learn from a ‘ban’ that ended 60 years ago?

The Edge Project, Saturday 2nd May, 9.30pm – 11pm

Parabola Arts Centre, £10

Professor Jonathan Stockdale (University of West London) will be participating in the festival’s late night showcase, alongside a double bill of exclusive first performances. Jonathan’s research examines performer interaction in improvisation collectives and, for the performance, the audience will be asked to keep their phones switched on for Impermanence Trio’s set, using them to decide what the band play. Alongside this, in a brand new collaboration, pianist Alexander Hawkins and vocalist Elaine Mitchener come together for an unusual and creative encounter with jazz standards. 

Jazz Meets Pop: Reinventing the Hits, Sunday 3rd May, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Take Five Tent, free (ticket required)

Jazz musicians often borrow songs from other genres and reinterpret them. In this interactive session Dr Catherine Tackley (The Open University) draws on her research to investigate how and why this is, challenging pianist Alexander Hawkins and guitarist Phil Robson to reinterpret the classic Beatles song Yesterday live on stage.

Further information and tickets for these events are available on the Cheltenham Jazz Festival website (opens in new window). Tickets are on sale to members of the Festival on Wednesday 25th February at 1pm, and to the public at 1pm on Wednesday 4th March. 

Notes to editors 

  • For further information from the AHRC, please contact Joanna van der Veen on 01793 41 6024 or j.vanderveen@ahrc.ac.uk
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.  www.ahrc.ac.uk 
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