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Catherine Tackley (née Parsonage)

Catherine has a Ph.D. from City University, London on Jazz in Britain. Her work has been published in recognised journals, and has been presented at national and international conferences. Catherine is currently a lecturer in music at the Open University. Prior to this she was Head of the Centre for Jazz Studies UK at Leeds College of Music.

Catherine is a co-editor of the Jazz Research Journal (Equinox), and is a member of the editorial board of Studies in Musical Theatre (Interim Publications). She is a member of the Board of Jazz Services. In 2006-7 she was awarded a prestigious Edison Fellowship at the British Library to study recordings of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. She is currently writing books on this subject and on Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert.

Catherine continues to be active as an instrumentalist and conductor in both classical and popular styles . She is Musical Director of Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats Big Band and of the North Cheshire Wind Orchestra. Her particular interest in music for winds has also informed recent research on jazz-influenced repertoire which has been published in Winds, the magazine of the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles and the Journal of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. Catherine has participated in conducting masterclasses with George Hurst, Neil Thomson, Peter Seymour, Elgar Howarth and Guy Woolfenden and reached the final of the NAYO British Reserve Insurance Conducting Competition.


  • 'A critical reassessment of the reception of early jazz in Britain' in Popular Music, Volume 22/3, October 2003 pp 315-336

  • 'Approaching jazz-influenced wind music' in Journal of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Volume 10, 2003 pp 79-94

  • 'The popularity of jazz - an unpopular problem: the significance of Swing when you’re winning' in The Source: Challenging Jazz Criticism, Issue 1, 2004 pp 59-80

  • ‘Integrating Theory and Practice in Conservatoires’ (with P. Fadnes and J. Taylor) in British Journal of Music Education, forthcoming November 2007
  • ‘Fascination and Fear: Responses to Early Jazz in Britain’ – a chapter in Overseas Blues (University of Mississippi Press) edited by Professor Neil Wynn, forthcoming 2007
  • ‘Jazz Recordings as Social Texts’ a chapter in Recorded Music: Society, Technology and Performance (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press) edited by Amanda Bayley, forthcoming 2007
  • ‘Jazz in Britain’ (with Dr. Pete Martin), a chapter in a book on the history of jazz in Europe, edited by Walter Turkenburg, Wolfram Knauer and James Lincoln Collier, forthcoming


Catherine can be contacted by email.