Leeds International Jazz Conference 2010:

Improvisation - Jazz in The Creative Moment



Leeds, United Kingdom






Leeds International Jazz Conference 2010:

Improvisation - Jazz in The Creative Moment

Thursday 25 – Friday 26 March 2010


The 16th Leeds International Jazz Conference takes place at Leeds College of Music from Thursday 25 to Friday 26 March 2010. LIJC is an annual event focusing on jazz research, education and performance. It is the only conference of its kind in the UK and offers a unique forum for musicians, academics, educators, students, and arts organisers to engage with the latest sounds and ideas in jazz. Along with paper presentations, workshops, performances and jam sessions, there are opportunities for discussion, networking, information exchange, and professional development.


LIJC 2010 focuses on the very heart of jazz – improvisation, and in keeping with this important theme we are delighted to welcome two eminent keynote speakers/performers. 


Dave Liebman, saxophonist (ex-Miles Davis and Elvin Jones), improviser, composer, recording artist and educator, is our Jazz Keynote. He will address the conference on maintaining creativity in improvisation and its teaching, offer a seminar on his Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody (1991/2006), run a practical workshop and perform in concert.


Our academic keynote speaker is Professor Paul Berliner (Duke University), whose highly influential Thinking in Jazz: the Infinite Art of Improvisation (1994) has invigorated a generation of jazz research and scholarship. He will address the conference on the parallels between his study of the New York jazz scene and his longstanding research on mbira players in Zimbabwe. A specific panel and paper session will be devoted to discussing and evaluating Thinking in Jazz in terms of its impact on jazz scholarship and methodology. 



Call for Papers and Workshop Proposals


The conference committee invites proposals for research papers, workshops, lecture-recitals, panels and roundtable discussions. The deadline for the submissions of proposals is 18th December 2009. We welcome presentations that advance the field of jazz improvisation, such as creative innovation in improvisational practice, the emergence of cross-disciplinary thinking and the development of new jazz scholarship. We also particularly welcome contributions to the discussion and evaluation of jazz scholarship through the prism of Berliner’s Thinking in Jazz. While proposals are invited on any area of jazz research and practice from within any discipline, preference will be given to topics which accord with the conference theme, and may address:


Defining improvisation, defining jazz improvisation

Understanding improvisation

The changing improvisational language of jazz

Jazz improvisation and creativity

Free jazz and free improvisation

Teaching and learning in jazz improvisation

Comparative approaches and strategies to the teaching of improvisation

Critical evaluation of jazz solos and improvisation

Precedent and tradition in jazz improvisation

Improvisation and the jazz composer

Improvisation in the jazz orchestra setting

Improvised music on record

Jazz improvisation and transcription

The cult of personality and the jazz soloist

Improvisational ‘space’ and other jazz settings

Jazz improvisation as metaphor for freedom and transformation

Jazz Improvisation and transcendence

Aesthetics and jazz improvisation

Free will and improvisation

Improvisational influences from outside jazz

World musics and jazz improvisation

The limitations of jazz scholarship for understanding improvisation



Individual presentations should be no more than twenty minutes in duration. There may be opportunities for longer slots for lecture-recitals and workshops. Proposals for panels should include details of each presenter and paper to be included. Our intention is to publish a selection of papers.


Proposals should take the form of a title followed by an abstract of not more than 200 words. The deadline for submissions is Friday 18 December 2009, and decisions will be notified shortly after this date.


Any queries about a proposal should be directed to the LIJC 2010 Conference Organiser: Professor Louise Gibbs l.gibbs@lcm.ac.uk


Submissions should be addressed to: Eleanor Moore, Administration Manager, e.moore@lcm.ac.uk  or sent to her at:


Leeds College of Music

3 Quarry Hill



United Kingdom


For more information and to make a booking for the conference go to:



Queries about attending LIJC 2010 should be addressed to: Louise Wood l.wood@lcm.ac.uk