JazzFest 48

Month: March 2016


I’m still going through my interviews and I’m starting to construct a sort of essay. Once I have all of the information written down in an organized fashion, I’ll deconstruct it and start building my actual project site (which should go pretty fast as long as I stay on top of everything and stick to my plan).

After I figure out what pictures, songs, video clips, and everything I plan to use, I need to go back and talk to the special collection librarians/archivists about proper citation and everything. I also need to contact the owner of Dukum to make sure I have permission to publish photos taken at the Judge’s Jam and to make sure I can use the name “Dukum Inn” in my analysis.

I’ve been extraordinarily busy preparing for NCUR next Wednesday-Saturday so I haven’t had time to do much else (I’m also trying to get ahead in other coursework so I’m not behind because of the conference).


What a week! After my meeting with the digital and special collections librarians/archivists, a multitude of questions flooded in regarding fair use and obtaining permission or consent to use various forms of media. With the help of Dr. Kroll and Dr. Snow (as well as a few people here at TSU), I now have a much better idea of the protocol for using and cite photos, videos, music, etc. in a legal and ethical way. (Thanks again, by the way!)

One of the best moments of this past week was when the digital collections librarian informed me that every edition of the Echo (TSU’s yearbook) had been digitized. This has allowed me to do a mass search through nearly 50 years worth of material for relevant articles and blurbs on JazzFest written by and for Truman students and faculty–and boy, oh, boy did I find some… moderately-very interesting/helpful stuff. For instance, some some years have relatively detailed information about that year’s festival and really capture the attitudes and feelings of both the performers and organizers (PMA members) and the audience. Others, however, only provide quick facts  (e.g., “JazzFest X was held on [Date] and featured [guest artist]”). What’s more, the librarians/archivists I spoke with also told me that as long as I properly cite the Echo, I should be able to use the photos published alongside those articles and blurbs without having to contact the photographer or anything because, from what I understand, it is the property of TSU. I’ll have to double check this, but I believe I’ll be able to crop the photos or just use the entire page, depending on my needs, which is incredible news.

I also got in touch with the current PMA historian, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t able to help me as much as I had hoped. He did, however, direct me to a few places where I could find photos and videos of past events and gave me the contact information of, who he believes to be, the original photographers and videographers.

Finally, I’m still slogging through the process of transcribing my interviews… there’s a lot… I’m taking pretty detailed notes as I go along and highlighting any quotes that I think I may just use directly. Because my festival hasn’t been documented as thoroughly as more traditional local or regional festivals might be, I’m having to rely mostly on the oral history I’m compiling and the bits and pieces I’m gathering from things like the Echo.

(One more thing. After class on Tuesday, I tried adding another page in the menu bar on THIS blog and still couldn’t. But when I logged in to my official project site and tried again, it worked fine. I’m still not sure why I can’t do that on here, but I guess I’m not as technologically inept as I thought. Having said that, any advice on how to maximize the effectiveness and functionality of my final project site is always welcome!)

Update 3/15/16

I got in touch with Aaron Speight  (Truman’s digital collections librarian) and Amanda Langendoerfer (Truman’s Head of Special Collections and Archives) and will be meeting with them tomorrow afternoon. I also contacted Adam Boyles (the current PMA historian) about getting together to show me any documents that may be helpful (I mentioned possibly doing an interview as well, but stressed that I’m more focused on the archival research right now).

I have revised my project contract, but I’m still not sure about one thing: obviously, I plan to post photos (and maybe videos and music) on my site, but didn’t know if it would be best to have one paged dedicated to a photo gallery (or multimedia in general) or to have smaller photo galleries on the pages where I discuss specific events of the festival (e.g., the Judge’s Jam, the clinics, the main performance, etc.). I was also thinking about using photos in or alongside the text, so to speak, to literally illustrate what I’m talking about (e.g., “The Judge’s Jam is held at the Dukum Inn (see Figure 1)…” where Fig. 1 is a photo of Dukum), but didn’t know if this rendered the photo gallery(ies) superfluous.

Finally, I have started a very rough draft of my introduction and parts of my analysis. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me so I’m trying my best to stay on top of things… here goes!

Update 3/8/16

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but I have some big (and past-due) updates!

So far, I have completed three interviews (the PMA president, the PMA Festival Officer, and one of the professors in charge of JazzFest) all of which left me with a substantial body of information to sift through. I’m currently in the slow-but-steady process of reviewing and transcribing these interviews.

JazzFest 48 is also over and seemed to be a great success. As usual I had a lot of fun attending the performances, but I also had the pleasure to sit in on the rehearsals and clinics, which gave me an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the festival from the music students’ perspective.

There’s a lot of work to be done in the weeks ahead, including follow-up interviews and archival research. I have set tentative deadlines that I really hope to stick to. With the stress of midterms behind me, I plan to front load the work for this class in hopes that I will have more time later in the semester to devote to actually creating and polishing my website.

Still, I am very excited to really start digging deeper and analyzing this festival. From my observations of the festival itself, I already feel like I have a better understanding of the JazzFest from the perspective of both the audience and the performers/participants/organizers.

Festivals Contract

Festivals Contract on Google Docs


The key objective of this project is to research and analyze the Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival (JazzFest) (its patterns, rituals, participant behavior, values, status hierarchy among individuals, gestures, body language, clothing, vernacular speech, etc.) using ethnographic and anthropological methods in order to understand the festival’s cultural and historical significance. I plan to conduct oral interviews and archival research, as well as document and analyze my experiences at the event from an ethnographic perspective. Along the way, I will build a WordPress website/blog to publicly exhibit my results.


        As of right now, my WordPress site uses a simple theme called “Lovecraft.” I only have a home page right now, but I plan to add a few more pages on the final project. Ideally, I would like my homepage to feature my mission statement and a very brief overview of the festival. I also plan to have a pages dedicated to the history of the festival (including a timeline), JazzFest 48, a photo gallery (including pictures of performances, tickets, posters, etc.), and videos and audio recordings from previous festivals. I have not decided if it would be best to have a single page where I publish my overall analysis of the festival or if I should do this in each individual page, but I am leaning toward the latter.

        In addition to WordPress, I intend to use YouTube (for videos of performances), Timeline JS3 to document the history of JazzFest (e.g. performance dates, quick info on guest performers, etc.), and (possibly) Google Maps mainly to show Kirksville in relation to some of the visiting high schools and middle schools from around the Midwest region.


Since JazzFest 48 will took place in the middle of the semester, I was fortunate to be able to attend both public concerts (the “Judge’s Jam” at the Dukum Inn on February 26 and the main performance on campus the following night). In addition, I had permission to sit in on the somewhat exclusive rehearsals, clinics, and competitions that are offered to the music students on campus (especially those in jazz combos and big bands) and the visiting high school and middle school groups from around the Midwest. Thus, I have already completed some significant goals:

Feb. 20: First interviews with Zach Green (JazzFest Officer)

Feb. 22: First interviews with Prof. Tim AuBuchon (“Mr. A”) (PMA Faculty Advisor and Jazz Band Director)

Feb. 24: First interviews with Ryan Staines (PMA President)

Feb. 26: Attend JazzFest Day 1
                  Rehearsals 1:30-4:30
                  Clinic 5:00-6:00
                  Judge’s Jam 9:00-midnight

Feb. 27: Attend JazzFest Day 2
                 Rehearsals, Judged Performances, Clinics 8:00a.-6:00p.
                 Featured Concert 8:00

From here, my tentative plan is to complete the following no later than the indicated dates:

March 11: Clean up ethnographic notes/observations
                     Begin analysis

March 19: Meet with Aaron Speight (Truman Digital Collections Librarian) about audio/video recordings from JazzFest and archived newspaper/magazine articles.

Meet with Amanda Lanangendoerfer (Special Collections and Archives Librarian) about other archival records/documents (e.g., programs, posters, etc.).

March 25: Interview Adam Boyles (Current PMA Historian) and to see programs, tickets, t-shirts, etc.

Conduct follow-up interviews with Zach Green, Mr. AuBuchon, and Ryan Staines, reflections on JazzFest 48.

April 2: Review archived Echo books (Truman State University’s ‘year book’) for pieces on JazzFest over the years.

April 6: Rough draft of project

April 21: Polished, edited project

May 5: Final Project

May 10: Reflection Blog/Paper

May 12: Public Presentation and Peer review

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