Jazz Cultures: Work in Progress

Date & Time:

1st June, 16:00


Online event; the link will be sent to those who register.


A work-in-Progress session with PhD candidates: Alan Musson, Benjamin Cottrell, Joy Ellis, Melinda Maxwell, and Ronan Guilfoyle.

A work-in-Progress session with PhD candidates: Alan Musson, Benjamin Cottrell, Joy Ellis, Melinda Maxwell, and Ronan Guilfoyle.

Alan Musson is a radio producer and presenter specialising in jazz. As a mature student, he completed an MA in Radio and Audio Production at Birmingham City University and currently completing a practice-as-research doctoral project (also at BCU) conducted through an auto-ethnographic study of his work as a radio producer, generating oral histories of jazz musicians working in the English West Midlands in the 1960s and 1970s. Alan also writes reviews for Jazz Rag magazine and UK Vibe.

Ben Cottrell is a composer, arranger, conductor, and producer best known for his work with Beats & Pieces Big Band, which Ben founded in 2008. Other projects include New Seeing (trumpet, strings, double rhythm section, live electronics), born from a 2016 Manchester Jazz Festival commission. Ben runs the independent label Efpi Records, working with artists across all areas of jazz, improvised, and experimental music. As an arranger, Ben has worked with/for a diverse range of artists, including Laura Mvula, Everything Everything and Goldie. His arrangements have been performed by ensembles, including the London Symphony Metropole Orkest and The Heritage Orchestra.

Joy Ellis is a jazz pianist, singer, composer and educator based in London and an alumni of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She has toured her original music throughout the UK. The recording and release of her most recent project ‘Peaceful Place’ was generously funded by Help Musicians UK and was Editor’s Choice in the April 2022 edition of Jazzwise. Joy teaches at the Junior Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Morley College and Middlesex University, London. Her research entitled ‘Women and the Jazz Jam’ was presented at and published by the Darmstadt Jazzinsitut, Germany.

Melinda Maxwell (BA (York), LTCL, ARCM, HonARAM, MMus Jazz) is a professional oboist, performing as principal with BCMG and guest principal with the London Sinfonietta. She has commissioned and premiered many works for her instrument, including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Simon Holt and Nicholas Maw. She is also a composer, improviser and teacher and completed an MMus in Jazz Performance in 2013. Her many recordings have been critically acclaimed: in 2007 and 2009, two solo recordings were voted CD of the month for the BBC’s Music Magazine.

Ronan Guilfoyle is a major figure on the Irish jazz scene and has developed an international reputation as a performer, teacher and composer. His groups have toured widely Internationally and he has also recorded extensively, including the award winning “Devsirme” in 1997. Renowned for the teaching of advanced rhythmic techniques for jazz improvisation, his book, Creative Rhythmic Concepts for Jazz Improvisation is seen as a reference text for this area, and he has lectured at many schools around the world. Ronan is the Director of The Centre for Jazz Performance Studies at Dublin City University.