The Age of Jazz in Britain

Professor Catherine Tackley

What was the public reaction to jazz when it began to appear in Britain in the aftermath of the First World War?  What did early jazz sound like and how did British musicians learn to play in the style?  How did British artists and designers react to the new rhythms and colours of the music?

Following on from The Arts Society/Two Temple Place Rhythm and Reaction exhibition which Professor Tackley curated in 2018, this lecture explores how jazz arrived in Britain and the impact that it had on musicians, artists and the wider public.  The lecture is illustrated with examples of visual art, including works not shown in the exhibition, and recorded music examples.

Professor Catherine Tackley (née Parsonage) is a musicologist specialising in jazz.  She is currently Head of the Department of Music at the University of Liverpool, UK.  She has written two books – The Evolution of Jazz in Britain: c.1880-1935 and Benny Goodman’s Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert  and co-edited Black British Jazz: Routes, Ownership and Performance.

In 2018, Catherine curated Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain for The Arts Society, an acclaimed exhibition in London based on her research.  In recognition of this and her work with many other organisations, Catherine won ‘Outstanding Contribution to Public Engagement’ in the University of Liverpool’s Staff Awards in 2019.  She is Musical Director of Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats Big Band.

Thursday 17th June at 7.30pm (via Zoom or at a venue to be confirmed).