IASPM Pop Talks 2: Double Book Launch – Remixing European Jazz Culture & Voices Found: Free Jazz and Singing


Please Note: This event will take place online via this Google Meets link: meet.google.com/ogs-rkvq-ddo

We request that you register in advance by emailing your first and last name to c.j.tonelli@rug.nl with the subject line “Double Book Launch Registration.” Entry without advance registration is possible but there is a chance the hosts may not admit individuals whose names/screen names are not known to them. University of Groningen students and faculty logging in from University of Groningen gmail-accounts don’t need to register in advance.

In 2020-2021, IASPM Benelux is prioritizing keeping popular music scholars in the Benelux connected despite our inability to gather in person. Our regular means of staying connected, our conferences, is not an option for now and so we have launched an online colloquium series we’re calling IASPM Pop Talks. The second event in the series, which will take place online on Wednesday, January 27th from 17:00-19:00 (CET), will be a double book launch event celebrating the release in 2020 of Remixing European Jazz Culture by former IASPM Benelux chair and Popular Music Studies professor at University of Groningen, Dr. Kristin McGee, and Voices Found: Free Jazz and Singing by current IASPM Benelux secretary and Popular Music Studies professor at the University of Groningen, Dr. Chris Tonelli. Dr. Fabian Holt, author of Genre in Popular Music (2007) and Everyone Loves Live Music (2021), will be present to comment on Remixing European Jazz Culture, and Carey West, vocalist and doctoral student in the University of Guelph’s Critical Studies in Improvisation program will comment on Voices Found. Musicians discussed in the two books will also be present to comment and offer performances; these will include: Amsterdam based saxophonist, DJ, and producer Susanne Alt; Berlin-based DJ, producer, and Jazzanova member Stefan Leisering; and Toronto based poet and soundsinger Paul Dutton. This session is a co-presentation with the University of Groningen’s Arts, Culture and Media program’s Music Matters Lecture Series.
Remixing European Jazz Culture examines a jazz culture that emerged in the 1990s in cosmopolitan cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, London, and Oslo – energised by the introduction of studio technologies into the live performance space, which has since developed into internationally recognised, eclectic, hybrid jazz styles. This book explores these oft-overlooked musicians and their forms that have nonetheless expanded the plane of jazz’s continued prosperity, popularity, and revitalisation in the twenty-first century – one where remix is no longer the sole domain of studio producers.
Voices Found: Free Jazz and Singing contributes to a wave of voice studies scholarship with the first book-length study of free jazz voice. It pieces together a history of free jazz voice that spans from sound poetry and scat in the 1950s to the more recent wave of free jazz choirs. The author traces the developments and offers a theory, derived from interviews with many of the most important singers in the history of free jazz voice, of how listeners have experienced and evaluated the often unconventional vocal sounds these vocalists employed. This theory explains that even audiences willing to enjoy harsh sounds from saxophones or guitars often resist when voices make sounds that audiences understand as not-Human.
Kristin McGee is Associate Professor in Popular Music Studies in the Arts, Culture and Media Department. She teaches popular music and topics related to gender and sexuality within music cultures. She has written on jazz, gender, popular music and audiovisual media within a variety of articles and books, including her monographs Some Liked It Hot: Jazz Women in Film and Television (Wesleyan University Press, 2009) and Remixing European Jazz Culture (Routledge 2019). She co-edited Beyoncé in the World: Making Meaning with Beyoncé in Troubled Times with Christina Baade (Wesleyan University Press, 2021).
Chris Tonelli is Assistant Professor of Popular Music Studies in the Music, Sound and Media Cultures area of the Arts, Culture and Media program at the University of Groningen where he teaches global and transnational popular music studies, arts criticism, critical musicology, ethnographic methodology, sonic technology studies, urban ethnomusicology, and popular music analysis and history. His book Voices Found: Free Jazz and Singing (2020 Routledge) examines the history of improvisational soundsinging and theorizes the social effects of human vocal sounds audiences hear as non-human. Other recent work includes articles on video game music and identity (for the Cambridge Companion of Video Game Music) and reception of scat singing (for a forthcoming edited volume also on Cambridge UP). Dr. Tonelli is also active as a community music practitioner and researcher through his conducting and organization of improvising choirs, like his virtual Transnational Vocal Exploration Choir project.
Susanne Alt is a saxophone player, dj and producer, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has been leading her own jazz band and playing alongside dj’s since 1999. In 2015, Alt was asked by a booker if she’s also dj’ing and as a joke she said “yes”. To her dismay she discovered that this answer had consequences, she just got her first booking as a dj! Quickly she had to catch up and prepare a set. One thing lead to another, her soulful deep and funky sound immediately got picked up within the Amsterdam nightlife. Performing live sets as a unique saxophonist-dj lead to an unexpected expansion of Alt’s career and also her dj-only sets (without sax) are in high demand. Developing these new skills also lead to her new band “Venus Tunes Live“, an all-female dj/live act: One vocalist, one percussionist and one saxophonist, all dj’ing and performing originals in the mix with other hot tracks. As a saxophone player deeply rooted in jazz, funk and soul, Alt is embracing the multiple musical possibilities of a dj/producer, stretching out into electronic music, especially everything that’s soulful, funky and deep.
(more information will be published soon)