13th International Jazz Research Conference
Jazz Re:Search in 21st-Century Academia and Beyond

Keynote Speakers

Walter van de Leur
Walter van de Leur is an internationally renowned expert on the music of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington. He conducted extensive research at the Duke Ellington Collection under two consecutive Smithsonian Institution Fellowships and researched and cataloged Billy Strayhorn’s musical legacy while it was still in the repository of his Estate. He is the author of Something to Live For: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Oxford University Press, 2002; winner of the Irving Lowens Book Award for Distinguished Scholarship in American Music).

He contributed chapters and entries to The Duke Ellington Studies Anthology (Cambridge UP), Musicians and their Audiences (Ashgate), Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life (Agate), The Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington, The Grove Dictionary of American Music (Oxford UP), The Routledge Companion to New Jazz Studies (Routledge), Politics and Cultures of Liberation (Brill), Singing Death (Ashgate), and journals such as the Musical Quarterly, Jazz Perspectives, the International Journal of Heritage Studies, and
Current Research in Jazz.

Van de Leur is professor of Jazz and Improvised Music at the University of Amsterdam, on behalf of the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where he is research coordinator. As such, he has led the Dutch work packages for two European-funded research projects: Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities and CHIME (Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals). He has directed three academic jazz conferences for Rhythm Changes (the largest in the field), the CHIMEMusic, Festivals, Heritage Conference in Siena (Italy), and co-led the 22nd International Duke Ellington Conference in Amsterdam.

Van de Leur’s work furthermore focuses on jazz reception history and jazz historiography. He is the founding editor of the forthcoming five-volume Oxford History of Jazz in Europe. His monograph Jazz and Death: Reception, Rituals, and Representations is forthcoming with Routledge in 2021.

His research for the Dutch Jazz Orchestra has led to highly acclaimed recordings of hitherto forgotten works by Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams, Gerry Mulligan, and Gil Evans (released by Challenge Records).

Nichole T. Rustin
Nichole T. Rustin earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. She is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Race and Ethnicity Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Rustin is working on a new book project exploring how artists use the law as their medium and how law frames art. Her book, The Kind of Man I Am: Jazzmasculinity and the World of Charles Mingus Jr. (Wesleyan 2017) is a cultural history of gender and jazz in the postwar period through the life and work of Charles Mingus. She draws on archival records, published memoirs, and previously conducted interviews to explore how Mingus’s ideas about music, racial identity, and masculinity – as well as those of other individuals in his circle, like Celia Mingus, Hazel Scott, and Joni Mitchell – challenged jazz itself as a model of freedom, inclusion, creativity, and emotional expressivity.

She is co-editor with Sherrie Tucker of Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies (Duke 2008), the first anthology of work in jazz and gender studies. She is co-editor with Nicholas Gebhardt and Tony Whyton of The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies (Routledge 2019), an anthology of cross-disciplinary and transnational studies in jazz.

In addition, her work has been published in Critical Sociology, JazzDebates/JazzDebatten, Radical History Review, Bill Traylor, William Edmondson, and the Modernist Impulse, William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal,South Atlantic Quarterly, and Organizing Black America.

Rustin has taught at Kansas City Academy, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Williams College, and New York University.