Conference Information

Edinburgh Napier University
16th & 17th of July, 2016

Continental Drift is a unique and dynamic conference hosted by Edinburgh Napier University, in association with the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival. Through a programme of panel discussions, presentations and performances, the conference will present informed and lively discussion around the development of jazz in Europe, and cast an eye to the future of jazz in the region.

The conference is aimed at a broad audience (from jazz-fans to musicians, and academics) and will provide an opportunity for insight into European jazz and the communities, networks, institutions and industries that support and sustain it.



Photo Gallery 2016

Click on image to view 2016 photo gallery

Those Who Make It Happen – trailer

Continental Drift Conference is excited to be premiering the film “Those Who Make It Happen” by Pedro Santana & José Dias.

“Jazz is often portrayed as a pantheon of heroes who stood out as extraordinary individual artists. Those Who Make it Happen challenges this traditional concept and observes the phenomenon of Portuguese jazz as the result of a collective effort and commitment that mobilises not only artists, but also promoters, associations, audiences, researchers and a multitude of different agents. Without them – without all those who make it happen – jazz would not exist.

The short documentary film captures a turning point in Portuguese jazz, where the boundaries of personal, national and pan-European identities are being questioned.

Shot in Lisbon in early 2016, Those Who Make it Happen features the testimonies of musicians, promoters and researchers who think about jazz in Portugal in its artistic, pedagogical, performative, social and political dimensions.”

Tony Whyton Announced as Keynote Speaker


Tony-Whyton-portraitThe organisers are delighted to announce that the keynote address will be given by Professor Tony Whyton.

Tony Whyton is Professor of Jazz Studies at Birmingham City University (BCU). His critically acclaimed books ‘Jazz Icons: Heroes, Myths and the Jazz Tradition’ (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and ‘Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album’ (Oxford University Press, 2013) have sought to develop cross-disciplinary methods of musical enquiry. As an editor, Whyton published the Jazz volume of the ‘Ashgate Library of Essays on Popular Music’ in 2011 and continues to work as co-editor of the Jazz Research Journal (Equinox). In 2014, he founded the new Routledge series ‘Transnational Studies in Jazz’ alongside BCU colleague Dr Nicholas Gebhardt. Gebhardt and Whyton also edited ‘The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music’ (Routledge) in 2015, a collection that explores the ways in which musician-led collectives offer a powerful model for rethinking jazz practices in the post-war period.

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