Alan Stanbridge

Alan Stanbridge
Associate Professor
Music and Culture


Dr. Alan Stanbridge is an Associate Professor in Music and Culture in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, and in the Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) Program in the iSchool (Faculty of Information) at the University of Toronto. His undergraduate courses include Critical Issues in Music and Society, Exploring Music in Social and Cultural Contexts, and Jazz Roots and Routes, and he offers graduate Museum Studies courses in Contemporary Theories of Art and Culture and Issues in Cultural Policy and Contemporary Culture. Stanbridge has been a recipient of a Faculty Teaching Award for his contribution to undergraduate teaching. 


Stanbridge has published numerous journal articles and book chapters in the fields of popular music, jazz history, cultural policy, museum studies, and cultural theory, and his new book, Rhythm Changes: Jazz, Culture, Discourse, will be published in 2021. He is a contributor to the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, writing the main entries on Jazz and Postmodernism, with the main entry on the Hollywood Musical forthcoming in a future volume. Stanbridge has been a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Cultural Policy since 2002, a member of the Advisory Board of Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation since 2003, and he served on the Editorial Board of the Jazz Research Journal from 2004 to 2021. Stanbridge has presented papers at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, the United States, and Canada. 


Stanbridge’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the manner in which a variety of discourses have shaped contemporary understandings of musical meaning and cultural value. These discourses have tended to become codified and naturalized, and have had a profound influence on the production, circulation, regulation, and reception of various forms of music. Drawing on a diverse range of musical examples from the early twentieth century to the present day, Stanbridge’s research explores the shifting value judgements that have served to circumscribe cultural artefacts, tracing the historical origins and contemporary trajectories of these evaluative discourses. His research has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). 


From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, Stanbridge pursued a fifteen-year career in professional arts management and music promotion in Britain, during which time he held the posts of Festival Director of the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Director of Jazz Services, Centre Manager of MAC (Midlands Arts Centre), and Administrative Director of the Almeida Theatre. Throughout his career, Stanbridge has been responsible for the programming and coordination of a diverse range of arts events, and he has promoted numerous concerts and specially commissioned projects featuring Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Astor Piazzolla, John McLaughlin, Willem Breuker, John Surman, Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Keith Tippett, the Brotherhood of Breath, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Tim Berne, Philip Glass, Robert Ashley, Meredith Monk, and John Cage, among many others.


B.Sc. (Glasgow), M.A. (Wolverhampton), Ph.D. (Carleton)