Forthcoming Conference: 39th Radio Jazz Research Conference 2020
39th Radio Jazz Research Conference (Postponed - new date will be announced)
Social History in Jazz. Remembering Musician and Musicologist Ekkehard Jost
39th Radio Jazz Research Conference, in Cooperation with the Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. 4–6 June 2020
Graz has long been a center of German-language jazz research. Here, following the founding of Europe’s first academic institute for jazz in 1965, the discipline took shape with the First International Jazz Research Conference and the establishment of the International Society for Jazz Research in 1969. However, another foundation was laid by Ekkehard Jost (1938-2017) in Germany, who was appointed professor of systematic musicology at the University of Gießen in 1973. In his post-doctoral work Free Jazz – the first German musicological work on jazz and the world’s first academic work on avant-garde jazz – Jost extended the predominant method of musicological analysis to include sociohistorical aspects. Later, in his book Sozialgeschichte des Jazz (1982), he presented a fully developed concept for the study of jazz. Both books are considered standard reference works and – notably – are still in print today.
Jost came from a school of young systematic musicologists that had formed around Hans-Peter Reinecke in Hamburg and Berlin, and had developed a methodology integrating sociological, historical, psychological, physical, and political aspects of music. For this reason, his work stimulated a multiperspective view on jazz in German-speaking jazz research as we know it, an approach later considered obligatory by the anglophone “new jazz studies” from the 1990s onwards.
The conference will focus on Ekkehard Jost’s work in jazz, both musicological and musical. It is taking place in Graz for two reasons: first, due to his participation in the initial jazz research conference in 1969, the appearance of the English translation of Free Jazz in the Graz publication series “Beiträge zur Jazzforschung / Studies in Jazz Research” in 1974, and also due to long-standing friendships, Jost remained in close contact with the Institute for Jazz Research throughout his life. Additionally, he willed his musicological and musical estate to the Institute, which is headed today by his former student André Doehring. The “Ekkehard Jost Archive” will be officially opened during the conference.