Alan Stanbridge

Alan Stanbridge
Associate Professor (On leave 1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021)
Music and Culture


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 he is cross-appointed in the Museum Studies Program in the iSchool (Faculty of Information) and in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. He has taught undergraduate courses in Cultural Theory, Cultural Policy, Collaborations, and Jazz History, graduate Museum Studies courses in Cultural Policy and Contemporary Theories of Art and Culture, and graduate Music courses in Music and Discourse and Music Research. Stanbridge is the recipient of a Faculty Teaching Award for his contribution to undergraduate teaching.

Stanbridge has published articles on popular music, jazz history, cultural policy, and cultural theory, and he is currently working on a book entitled Rhythm Changes: Jazz, Culture, Discourse, to be published by Routledge. He is a contributor to the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, writing the main entries on Jazz (for Volume VIII) and on Postmodernism (for Volume I), with the main entry on the Hollywood Musical forthcoming in Volume XII. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Cultural Policy and the Jazz Research Journal, and a member of the Advisory Board of Critical Studies in Improvisation/√Čtudes critiques en improvisation. Stanbridge also serves as a Research Collaborator on the international research project on Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, which is supported by a Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Stanbridge has presented papers at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Scotland, England, the United States, and Canada, and he has been a regular cultural commentator on CBC Radio.

Stanbridge's current interdisciplinary research project 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 naturalised, 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 20th 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 project has been supported by a grant from SSHRC.

In a previous life, Stanbridge pursued a 15-year career in professional arts management and music promotion in Britain, during which time he held the post of Director of the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, and occupied senior management positions with several arts centres and music organizations, including Midlands Arts Centre (mac), the Almeida Theatre, and Jazz Services. 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, the Brotherhood of Breath, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Tim Berne, Philip Glass, and John Cage, among many others.


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