Milestone Institute’s Head of Social Sciences Division, Adam Havas’ presentation at the 6th Rhythm Changes Conference

Our Faculty member and Head of Social Sciences Division, Dr. Adam Havas has represented Milestone at the annual Rhythm Changes Conference which took place at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Gratz between 11 and 14 April.

About the Conference

The conference series was originally part of the EU funded project Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities which was funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) network from 2010-2013. Aiming to bring together jazz researchers from different disciplines the first two conferences, Jazz and National Identities (Amsterdam, 2011) and Rethinking Jazz Cultures (Salford, 2013) were organized as part of this transnational research project. The subsequent conferences held in Amsterdam (Jazz Beyond Borders, Re/Sounding Jazz, 2014, 2017), Birmingham (Jazz Utopia, 2016) and Gratz (Jazz Journeys, 2019) followed as a continuation of these successful events. Since the first conference held in Amsterdam in 2011 these pluridisciplinary academic events bring together a growing number of international scholars who study the social, cultural and political significance of jazz. To date the conference series have grown to be a prestigious international forum of leading scholars from a variety of disciplines including sociology, cultural studies, popular music studies, cultural history, musicology and ethnomusicology. 

The latest conference held in Gratz ( included more than 100 papers presented by researchers from South Africa to the USA and Europe in 35 thematic sessions. The conference papers reflected the multifaceted academic approaches to jazz conceived as a meaningful cultural and social practice.

In his contribution, Adam summarized some key findings of his PhD thesis written on the stratification and symbolic distinctions of the contemporary Hungarian jazz scene. Drawing on the conference’s motto “Jazz Journeys” his presentation entitled “From the Cafe House to the Palace of Arts: Ethnic and Aesthetic Constructions of the Contemporary Hungarian Jazz” (see the abstract attached) tackled the elements of musical socialization of Hungarian roma jazz musicians born into professional musician families. The stake of his presentation was to explore the historically conditioned links between the the social position these musicians often associated with the “mainstream jazz elite” and their musical practices/aesthetic preferences.

For further insights of the conference including critical reflections on some distinguished conference papers see the podcast (soon available here: in which the two other Hungarian participants Judit Csobod and Kornél Zipernovszky, members of the Jazz Studies Research Group (JaTaKuCS), discuss the event.

His research outputs including journal articles, his PhD thesis and interviews are available on his and Researchgate  profiles:

Further info on the modules thought at Milestone are available at the Institute’s website: