I was delighted to co-host a book launch with my colleague George Burrows from the School of Art, Design, and Performance at the University of Portsmouth. By chance we had both published books within a couple of months of each other with Oxford University Press music. So we decided to hold a joint book launch in Portsmouth. Rather than talking about our own books, we each introduced the other’s book – a rather nerve-wracking but overall very enjoyable way to do it.
George’s fascinating book The Recordings of Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy examines the recordings of this black jazz band from Kansas City to present a new theory concerning musical-racial understandings in jazz. And of course my book, ‘Class, control, and classical music‘, is an ethnographic study of young people playing in classical music ensembles in the south of England which presents new explanations for class and gender inequalities within classical music.
Following our introductions to each others’ books, a specially-formed jazz band plays four of the numbers featured in George’s book. George learnt the sousaphone especially for the occasion and he features in the band.
Very many thanks to all the band members who gave up their time to make this event so much fun, and also to Greg Smith and Russ Percy from the University of Portsmouth who made the video.