Everyday jazz life

A photographic project on contemporary jazz musicians’ lives in Birmingham


  • Pedro Cravinho Birmingham City University
  • Brian Homer Freelancer photographer




jazz, United Kingdom, Birmingham, photography, everyday life


This article examines fragments of a local jazz scene through photographs. It is theoutcome of a collaborative pilot research project entitled 'Everyday Jazz Life: A PhotographicProject on Contemporary Jazz Musicians' Lives in Birmingham' that took placeat Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, and brought together an academicand a photographer. As Ian Jeffrey suggests, photographs can be consideredas understandable fragments, which invite their viewers' minds to reflect about them.However, as fragments, photographs of contemporary Birmingham's jazz musicians aspeople, not just performers, in the context of their everyday lives can also be understoodas records of intention illuminating how musicians view themselves, the local jazz scene,and how they negotiate their lives while expanding their music. This visual approachopens up the possibility of new, or under-studied, topics for jazz studies research, forexample, those concerning musicians' off-stage complementary activities, social dynamicswithin their communities, and the living challenges and constraints.

Author Biographies

Pedro Cravinho, Birmingham City University

Dr Pedro Cravinho researches and writes about jazz, media, and archives. He isthe Keeper of the Archives at the Faculty of Arts, Design & Media, and a Senior ResearchFellow at Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. Cravinho is a Trusteefor the National Jazz Archive, a board member of the Duke Ellington Society UK, and amember of Jazz Promotion Network. Since mid-2015, he has been conducting originalresearch about jazz in Birmingham.

Brian Homer, Freelancer photographer

Brian Homer is a photographer, designer and writer. He was part of the HandsworthSelf Portrait project in 1979 with Derek Bishton and John Reardon, and also cofoundedTen8 international photography magazine. He has since run many self-portraitphotography projects in communities in the West Midlands, Telford and Belfast. Between2012 and 2018 he was on the board of Birmingham Jazz, and currently is an active freelancephotographer documenting the jazz scene locally and nationally.


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How to Cite

Cravinho, P., & Homer, B. (2020). Everyday jazz life: A photographic project on contemporary jazz musicians’ lives in Birmingham. Jazz Research Journal, 13(1-2), 238–264. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.39943