This co-authored article examines fragments of a local jazz scene through photographs. It is the outcome of a collaborative pilot research project entitled ‘Everyday Jazz Life: A Photographic Project on Contemporary Jazz Musicians’ Lives in Birmingham’ that took place at Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, as result of my collaboration with freelance jazz photographer, Brian Homer.
As Ian Jeffrey suggests, photographs can be considered as understandable fragments, which invite their viewers’ minds to reflect about them. However, as fragments, photographs of contemporary Birmingham’s jazz musicians as people, not just performers, in the context of their everyday lives can also be understood as records of intention illuminating how musicians view themselves, the local jazz scene, and how they negotiate their lives while expanding their music. This visual approach opens up the possibility of new, or under-studied, topics for jazz studies research, for example, those concerning musicians’ off-stage complementary activities, social dynamics within their communities, and the living challenges and constraints.
Keywords: jazz; United Kingdom; Birmingham; photography; everyday life
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