Center for Jazz Studies and the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Launch Interdisciplinary Web Resource

NEW YORK, March 13, 2008 The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship announced today the launch of Jazz Studies Online, a Web-based resource that will serve as a central portal for the collection and dissemination of scholarly research and educational materials in the new interdisciplinary field of jazz studies.


The scholarly and educational content of Jazz Studies Online features papers, book excerpts, colloquium proceedings, bibliographies, links to digital libraries, and teaching materials. The project includes material for researchers, teachers interested in effectively incorporating the perspectives of this new field into ongoing classes and programs, jazz artists, and the general public.

The creation of Jazz Studies Online is made possible by a three-year grant from the Ford Foundation, which has been a generous supporter of the Center for Jazz Studies since its inception in 1999. This resource will support the Center’s educational mission by promoting scholarly research and writing in this emerging field, and providing for the first time a site that provides links and tools for the basic understanding of jazz, as well as exploring the influence of jazz on other arts.

The site offers a digital resource library, including author and artist interviews, short essays, book excerpts, video recordings of performances, interviews, and colloquia, scholarly papers, and feature articles. Jazz Studies Online also includes a multimedia Jazz Glossary, developed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, with definitions, short essays, and audio and visual demonstrations of a variety of jazz vocabulary terms. More long-term goals include the development of a collaborative environment for digital scholarship, and jazz curricula and teaching tools. For more information, visit

In addition to offering this significant compendium of jazz materials, Jazz Studies Online serves as a portal through which users can find the best jazz resources and Web sites available on the Internet. Scholars, teachers, students, and jazz aficionados will find links organized around jazz artists, locales, eras, and styles-- swing, bebop, Latin jazz, free jazz, fusion, and much more. Importantly, JSO will make jazz scholarship accessible to those who lack access to urban centers, universities or performance venues, filling a void in the field of jazz scholarship.

Jazz Studies Online is the first resource of its kind, a vital example of our mission at the Center," said George Lewis, Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia. "We want to harness the power of digital media to encourage the interdisciplinary expansion of the intellectual conversation surrounding jazz, developing new knowledge that illuminates the human condition."

Jazz Studies Online will be progressively developed over the next three years and is managed by the Center for Jazz Studies and the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.

The Columbia Libraries' Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) advances the use of new media and digital technologies in research and scholarly communication. CDRS is committed to serving the digital research and scholarly communication needs of the faculty, students, and scholars of Columbia University through the innovative creation and implementation of online tools and services.

Since its inception in 1999, the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia has been recognized as a central forum for a global revitalization of the intellectual discourse around jazz. The Center sees the interdisciplinary expansion of the conversation surrounding jazz, and especially its lifeblood practice, improvisation, as tracing a path toward the development of new knowledge that illuminates the human condition. The Center’s direction is realized by promoting research and writing by innovative scholars in the arts, humanities, and sciences; encouraging excellence in the teaching of jazz music and culture; and presenting public programs, including concerts, symposia, lectures and exhibitions, that complement and extend the Center’s research and teaching missions.

Over the past eight years, through the Center’s auspices, jazz studies has been integrated into Columbia’s renowned Core Curriculum, so that the College’s students gain exposure to the study of jazz. The Center’s faculty offer at least four major courses per year on jazz, attracting about 500 students, and support a jazz studies special concentration.


03/13/08 LMK