Resource authors: Dr Emma Webster, University of Edinburgh and Prof George McKay, University of East Anglia
In Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival, Emma Webster and George McKay have pieced together a fascinating jigsaw puzzle of archival material, interviews, and stories from musicians, festival staff and fans alike. Including many evocative images, the book weaves together the story of the festival with the history of its home city, London, touching on broader social topics such as gender, race, politics, and the search for the meaning of jazz. They also trace the forgotten history of London as a vibrant city of jazz festivals going back as far as the 1940s.
As festival founding director John Cumming says: The meticulous work that follows in this history charts the festival journey across decades, and probes the bigger picture that surrounds it. It’s not just about the music, extraordinary and inspiring as that can be. It’s about the way that what might be seen as a niche area of creative work can reflect and respond to external change – and, we hope, make a difference. Not just within a city, but as part of worldwide reach that transcends barriers of race and ethnicity, and, at its best, celebrates a global mix of gender, class and generation… The outcome is I think an immensely valuable piece of work that informs our practice as a producer of live music, and at the same time marks the essential role of academic research in evaluating the impact of the cultural sector in a wider context.
Music From Out There, In Here will be of interest to jazz and music fans, to historians and lovers of London, to festival-goers and festival workers, cultural funders and sponsors, to musicians, and to anyone curious as to how a city like London or a music like jazz continually reinvents itself while building a cultural tradition.
Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival was created as part of the Connected Communities Impact of Festivals Project.
Full, online copy available here: