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2021 IASJ Jazz Research Conference, 11 and 12 November
Session 3, Friday 12 November 2021, 7 p.m.


The IASJ Research Journal


Why another jazz research journal? What will be the content? Who will publish it? Who will read it? Will it be in print or online? Who will be the editors? How to contribute? What is ‘applied jazz’ research? What are the 'Ongoing Dialogues' at IASJ Jazz Meetings?


Wouter Turkenburg and Wojtek Justyna welcome the about 20 online participants to the last session of the 2021 IASJ Research Conference.

Wouter Turkenburg opens by stating that during this conference there appeared to be a great the willingness to collaborate and to exchange ideas in the various fields of jazz research. In many other fields of research there is competition and rivalry and doors are not so open.

Where to go from here? What will be done next? What will the IASJ Jazz Research Journal be? Who can contribute? Who wants to help organize the journal?

Kurt Ellenberger explains that Grand Valley State University Libraries, Grand Rapids, MI,USA, will host the online journal. They have the resources and the personal to produce the journal. Although the administrative side is taken care off, it is not decided yet how the journal will look like. As of now there will be no printed versions of the journal.

Next steps are putting together the editorial board, sending out a call for papers, asking the participants of this conference to contribute. The content of the journal will be balanced: pedagogical, scientifical, artistic and all other types of research. Projects that are now purely in the ‘scientific research’ realm should be transferred to the ‘applied research’ realm in order to show to others how things can be accomplished, be applied in the daily practice.

Emiliano Sampaio is willing to distill from his dissertation an article that could be called ‘How to conduct large ensembles in the 21st century’. He thinks that the timing for the IASJ Research Journal to come out in the summer of 2022 is very well because it fits in with next to other publications such as the ‘Journal for Artistic Jazz Research by Michael Kahr. There is still a lack of places where jazz researcher can publish their works.

Toni Bechtold, Switzerland sees the need to transfer the outcomes of the scientific research on rhythm, on groove, into an article with pedagogical purposes. He has some experiences by applying the research data in a number of workshops but till so far not written an article about it.

Ed Sarath is interested to write about ‘the new horizons in jazz research’. This would be an article on observations and trends in jazz research, based on what he has heard during this conference. Ed Sarath states he thinks that the story of improvisation in jazz has yet to be told. We are still in the beginning phase of that story. He also states that the journal should really stress that there is something, new in jazz research: ‘applied jazz research’.

Kurt Ellenberger states that by now, after four decades of teaching jazz at various institutes there is a wealth of experiences and visions at a lot of jazz schools. These experiences and visions should be exchanged. During the ‘Ongoing Dialogues’ of the annual IASJ Jazz Meetings the experiences were and will be presented but in an informal setting and without reports or further dissemination. The IASJ Research Journal will be the forum, the platform to bring these great experiences and knowledge to the world.

Maybe the IASJ Research Journal should become a part of the ‘Research Catalogue’, based in Europe and supported by a large and growing number of institutions, Wouter Turkenburg brings up.

Kurt Ellenberger states that the IASJ Research Journal should not be integrated in other existing catalogues. Often these catalogues force the authors to hand over the publishing rights in order to monetize the content. With Grand Valley State University Libraries this will not be the case. Articles published can be republished elsewhere and gain interest from more readers. He stresses the importance that the IASJ Research Journal does not become a storage body, a mere library, an endpoint of jazz research, but becomes the beginning of ongoing, further and new research. 

Gary Keller foresees that master students of Miami University and other institutions will use the IASJ Research Journal to publish their papers.

Wouter Turkenburg sketches a possible timeline for the journal. The first one should be out around the summer of 2022. The second one is foreseen two years later, in 2024. In between, the ‘Ongoing Dialogues’ take place at IASJ Jazz Meetings in New York in 2022 and Helsinki in 2023. The Ongoing Dialogues could generate new content for the second edition of the journal as well. In August 2022 in Amsterdam the conference ‘Rhythm Changes’ takes place and some of the participants of that conference might also be willing to contribute to the IASJ Research Journal. Also, a next IASJ Conference will take place at some time in 2023, before the publishing of the second issue of the IASJ Research Journal. The second issue of the journal will contain a report of the second conference.

Wojtek Justyna as a performer would like to see a clear direction that is taking by explaining what ‘applied jazz research’ is. It should be made clear how ‘applied jazz research’ can be attractive for performers, after graduating, and how they can become involved. Setting a trend and showing possibilities is as important as a collection of excellent articles. Applied jazz research should be very concrete, inviting and inspiring.

Jari Perkiömäki states that it should be made clear at all times want the differences are between applied jazz research, practice-based research, artistic jazz research and the other terms and definitions that are around. Wouter Turkenburg agrees that the term ‘applied jazz research’ should be explained and the explanation should be repeated time and over again. He has developed a one-liner: ‘applied jazz research is feeding and fed by jazz performance and jazz education’. A logo should be developed in order to have a visual representation of ‘applied jazz research’.

Kurt Ellenberger replies that from his experience of going to the IAJE Conferences, the JEN Conferences, he saw and heard many ‘slick’ presentations of research presented. Going to the Ongoing Dialogues at IASJ Jazz Meetings he saw research that was more connected to ‘the street’. The IASJ presentations had high-level content as well. As a result, the content was paired down to something that could be of use. Often with an ‘activist’ character or a ‘street-vibe’ feel, but with a definite connection to the real world.

The IASJ Research Journal, he states, could take many directions and contain many ideas. The journal could be talking about marketing, advertising, management, how to put a group together, how to put music theory into practice. The scoop is wider that existing academic journals that not allow such a wide range of topics.

Massimo Cavalli asks if articles will be peer-reviewed, who will consist of the editorial board, what the organizational structure of the journal will look like.

Wouter Turkenburg replies that the structure is discussed with Grand Valley State University Libraries and is left open as much as possible while maintaining high standards. All types or reviewing that exist and are possible. Reviewing will depend on the kind of content of the articles and contributions. Kurt Ellenberger and Wouter Turkenburg will start as the chief editors but are wide open to anyone who wants to join the editorial board. Be it the participants of this conference or anyone else in their networks that fits in.

Kurt Ellenberger adds that the rigid scientific peer, double-peer and double-blind peer reviewing might not be needed at all times with the IASJ Research Journal. Of course, the journal will have high standards but will be more ‘open’ and friendly. The journal, as he sees it, is the next step for the IASJ in maturation, inviting a younger generation of jazz musicians and researchers to step in and take over.


In this session important remarks were made about what the IASJ Research Journal should become, about contributions and contributors, the way it will be set up and its position in academia. Clearly noticeable was the open mindedness and willingness of all participants to help to make the journal a success.

Despite the many open ends and unanswered questions, there is enough solid ground for a take-off of the IASJ Research Journal.

The inevitable comparison with playing a jazz composition was made: we will start the music with the whole band and time will tell how the following solos will sound.


An extended report of the 2021 IASJ Research Conference will be made and send to all participants.

A condensed version of this report the opening article in the first issue of the IASJ Research Journal.




Wouter Turkenburg thanks all the participants, among others Gary Keller who has attended and has contributed to all session.

Special thanks go out to Kurt Ellenberger and Wojtek Justyna.

Thanks to Bas Schollaert for the sound recordings and the Zoom broadcasting.

Also, thanks to the institution that supported this conference: The Royal Conservatory in The Hague, ACPA in Leiden, and the Unit 2 – ‘Nieuwe Energie’ in Leiden.

Who is who

Toni Bechtold, saxophone, researcher at HSLU, Lucerne; Switzerland

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Massimo Cavalli, double bass, Lusìada University, PT

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Kurt Ellenberger, piano, publicist, Grand Valley State University, Michigan; USA

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Wojtek Justina, jazz guitarist, IASJ Conference Producer; NL/PL

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Gary Keller, saxophone, University of Miami; USA

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Emiliano Sampaio, guitar, trombone, composer, conductor; Austria; Brazil

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Ed Sarath, trumpet, University of Michigan; ISIM (International Society for Improvised Music); USA

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Jari Perkiömäki, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki; FI

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Wouter Turkenburg, University Leiden, IASJ; NL

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