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      Associate Professor, Music and Culture

                Department of Arts, Culture and Media, UTSC
      Associate Professor, Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) Program

                iSchool, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

·                Ph.D. Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (Sociology, 2000)

·                M.A. University of Wolverhampton, England (Communications, 1993)

·                M.A. (equivalent) City University, London, England (Arts Administration, 1981)

·                B.Sc. University of Glasgow, Scotland (1978)


       Office: AA338 (UTSC); BL650 (U of T)


       E-mail: alan.stanbridge@utoronto.ca




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. He teaches undergraduate courses in Critical Issues in Music and Society, Jazz History, and Movies, Music and Meaning, and 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, museum studies, 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 and Postmodernism, with the main entry on the Hollywood Musical forthcoming in a future volume. 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/Études critiques en improvisation. Stanbridge has presented papers at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, the United States, and Canada, and he has been a regular media commentator on cultural issues. He is a former member of the National Board and the Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC), and a long-time affiliate of IASPM-Canada (International Association for the Study of Popular Music).


GIJF89-L1thumbStanbridge'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, Keith Tippett, the Brotherhood of Breath, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Tim Berne, Philip Glass, Robert Ashley, Meredith Monk, and John Cage, among many others.







People Get Ready




·      And Then I Don’t Feel So Bad: Jazz, Sentimentality, and Popular Song

in Tony Whyton, Nicholas Gebhardt and Nicole T. Rustin (eds.) (2018) The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies, New York: Routledge, pp. 139-149

·      Somewhere There: Contemporary Music, Performance Spaces, and Cultural Policy

in Ajay Heble and Rob Wallace (eds.) People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now!, Durham, NC: Duke University Press (2013), pp. 184-196

·      A Question of Standards: ‘My Funny Valentine’ and Musical Intertextuality

in Tony Whyton (ed.) Jazz, London: Ashgate (2011), pp. 267-292

(“The featured articles in this volume provide an overview of jazz studies writings from the 1990s to the present day”)

(Note: This article first appeared in Popular Music History Vol. 1 No. 1 (2004): 83-108. The abstract is available online)

·      Old Songs, New Songs: One Scotsman's Musical Journey

in Daniel Kernohan (ed.) Music is Rapid Transportation... From the Beatles to Xenakis, Toronto: Charivari Press (2010), pp. 52-65

·      From the Margins to the Mainstream: Jazz, Social Relations, and Discourses of Value

Cover - good qualityCritical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation, Vol. 4 No. 1 (2008)

(The full text of this article, in both HTML and PDF formats, can be accessed online)

·      The Tradition of all the Dead Generations: Music and Cultural Policy

International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol. 13 No. 3 (2007): 255-271 (The abstract of this article is available online)

·      Display Options: Discourses of Art and Context in the Contemporary Museum

International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol. 11 No. 2 (2005): 157-170 (The abstract of this article is available online)

·      Of Sunshine and Happy Endings: Jazz, Parody, and the Limits of Interpretation

Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2004)

(The full text of this article, in both HTML and PDF formats, can be accessed online)

·      Burns, Baby, Burns: Jazz History as a Contested Cultural Site

The Source: Challenging Jazz Criticism (now the Jazz Research Journal), Volume 1/04 (2004): 81-99

(The abstract of this article is available online)

·      Detour or Dead-End?: Contemporary Cultural Theory and the Search For New Cultural Policy Models

International Journal of Cultural Policy Vol. 8 No. 2 (2002): 121-134 (The abstract of this article is available online)




·      Beautiful Pictures and Question Marks: The Willem Breuker Kollektief’s Musicality and Theatricality

BreukerLiner notes for Out of the Box, an 11 CD retrospective of the music of the Willem Breuker Kollektief

(BVHAAST, 2017)

·      The Hollywood Musical

in John Shepherd and David Horn (eds.) Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Vol. XII

Genres: International, London: Continuum (forthcoming)

·      Jazz

in David Horn and John Shepherd (eds.) Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Vol. VIII

Genres: North America, London: Continuum (2012), pp. 286-307

·      Review Essay: Jim McGuigan, Rethinking Cultural Policy

in Oliver Bennett (ed.) Cultural Policy Review of Books, London: Routledge (2012)

·      At Somewhere There

Liner notes to the CD At Somewhere There (2011), featuring Evan Parker, Wes Neal, and Joe Sorbara

Barnyard Records BR0321

·      Postmodernism

in John Shepherd, David Horn, Dave Laing, Paul Oliver and Peter Wicke (eds.) Continuum Encyclopedia of

Popular Music of the World, Vol. 1: Media, Industry and Society, London: Continuum (2003), pp. 106-111




·      Beyond Blue Note: Representations of Jazz in Record Album Covers – Paper presented at Documenting Jazz – Second Annual Conference, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, England, January 2020

·      Metaphorical Bandwagons: Allegories of Journeying in Jazz – Keynote Closing Address presented at Jazz Journeys – Sixth International Rhythm Changes Conference, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria, April 2019

·      Swingin’ in the Ol’ Corral: Jazz Meets Country Music – Paper presented at Beyond Genre: Jazz as Popular Music, Center for Popular Music Studies, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, April 2018

·      Riding the Sonic Saddle: Musicology Meets Cultural Theory – Paper presented at The Social and Cultural Study of Music: Then and Now – A Symposium in Honour of John Shepherd, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, November 2017

·      Revisionism and Recalibration: American Exceptionalism, Discourses of Place, and the Articulation of Jazz History – Paper presented at A Place in This World: Music and Belonging/Canada 150, IASPM-Canada Annual Conference (International Association for the Study of Popular Music), University of Toronto, Ontario, May 2017

·      Reflections on Search and Reflect: A John Stevens Improvisation Workshop – Co-presented with Rob Wallace and Joe Sorbara at ISIM (International Society for Improvised Music) 9th Festival and Conference, Music Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, May 2016

·      And Then I Don’t Feel So Bad: Sentimentality, Irony, and Popular Song – Paper presented at Jazz Utopia –

Fourth Rhythm Changes Conference, Birmingham City University, England, April 2016

·      Tied Up With Strings: Irony, Popular Song, and Misinterpretation – Paper presented at Frames of Listening: Popular Music and Visual Culture – IASPM-Canada Annual Conference, University of Ottawa/Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, May 2015

·      All the Rest is Propaganda: Jazz, Class, and Race in British New Wave Cinema – Paper presented at Jazz Beyond Borders – Third Rhythm Changes Conference, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2014

·      Krazy Kats and Rhapsodies: Symphonic Jazz, Reconsidered – Paper presented at Rethinking Jazz Cultures – Second Rhythm Changes Conference, Media City UK/University of Salford, England, April 2013

·      Of Fields and Fences: Digital Culture, Cultural Policy, and the Copyright Debate – Paper presented at ICCPR 2012: The 7th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, University of Barcelona, Ramon Llull University, and the Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture, Barcelona, Spain, July 2012

·      Gone, in the Air? Improvisation and the Paradox of Sound Recording – Paper presented at Sound Practices: Improvisation, Representation, and Intermediality, 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival and Colloquium, University of Guelph, Ontario, September 2011

·      From 52nd Street to Oxford Street: Jazz, Nationalism, and Musical Identities – Paper presented at the Jazz and National Identities – First Rhythm Changes Conference, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2011

·      Don’t Know Much About Geography: Discourses of Place in Jazz History – Paper presented at Music and Environment: Place, Context, Conjuncture, IASPM-Canada Annual Conference, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, June 2011

·      "Don’t dig that kinda croonin’, chum!": When Music Genres Collide – Paper presented at Nerd Nite Toronto, Tranzac Club, Toronto, Ontario, April 2011

·      Don’t Fence Me In: Music, Sampling, and Creativity on the Digital Frontier – Paper presented at Intellectual Property and the Making and Marketing of Music in the Digital Age, co-hosted by the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, the Department of Music, and the Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, April 2010




Stanbridge 65COURSES


Currently Offered Courses:


VPMD90H           Critical Issues in Music and Society (Music and Culture, UTSC)

VPMB94H           Jazz History (Music and Culture, UTSC)

MDSC85H           Movies, Music and Meaning (Music and Culture/Media Studies, UTSC)

MSL1300H          Contemporary Theories of Art and Culture (Museum Studies Program, iSchool)

MSL2340H          Issues in Cultural Policy and Contemporary Culture (Museum Studies Program, iSchool)



Previously Offered Courses:


VPAA05H             Collaborations in the Visual and Performing Arts (VPA Specialist, UTSC)

VPAB05H             Introduction to Contemporary Cultural Theory (Arts Management, UTSC)

VPAC15H             Cultural Policy (Arts Management, UTSC)

VPAD13H             Art, Culture, and Policy (Arts Management, UTSC)

MUS1062H          Music and Discourse (Graduate Department of Music)

MUS1001H          Introduction to Music Research II (Graduate Department of Music)








Canada-satellitePostal Address:

Dr. Alan Stanbridge
Department of Arts, Culture and Media
University of Toronto at Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario