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Personal profile


Dr John Whiteoak is a former dance, cabaret and service band musician and an Adjunct Professor in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University. His academic background is in musicology, jazz studies, popular music studies and Australian history and he has published on numerous aspects of music and dance in colonial and twentieth-century Australia, including the first history of improvisation in Australia, Playing Ad Lib: Improvisatory Music in Australia, 1836-1970 (Currency Press, 1999).  He was also co-conceiver and co-General Editor of (and the major contributor to) the 735 page Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia (2003). His central research and writing focus since 2003 has been his Tango Touch publication project, 'Latin and Continental Influences on Music and Dance Before Australian Multiculturalism'. This project has, so far, produced numerous conference papers and 24 publications and he is currently preparing the monograph, Take Me to Spain: Australian Imaginings of Spain Thorough Music and Dance, as a history of the many ways that people living in Australia from early colonial times to the flamenco- craze era of the late 1950s and 1960s have been 'taken' or 'transported' in imagination to an exoticized 'Spain' through music and dance.  His publications and projects are described at <www.ausmdr.com>.


Research Output 1993 2019

"Take Me to Spain": Australian Imaginings of Spain through Music and Dance

Whiteoak, J., 20 Oct 2019, 1 ed. Melbourne Australia: Lyrebird Press. 258 p. (Australasian Music Research; vol. 18)

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

A good black music story? black American stars in Australian musical entertainment before “jazz”’

Whiteoak, J., 2018, Popular Stars and Stardom. Loy, S., J. R. & S. B. (eds.). 1st ed. Canberra ACT Australia: ANU E Press, p. 37-54 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

What were the so-called ‘German bands’ of pre-World War I Australian street life?

Whiteoak, J., 2018, In : Nineteenth Century Music Review. p. 51-65 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Demons of discord down under: 'Jump Jim Crow' and 'Australia's first jazz band'

Whiteoak, J., 2016, Antipodean Riffs: Essays on Australasian Jazz. Johnson, B. (ed.). Sheffield UK: Equinox Publishing, p. 19-46 28 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

'Latin Influence on Jazz-Related Music in Australia 1912-1970s'

Whiteoak, J., 2015, 11 p. IASPM-ANZ.

Research output: Other contributionOtherpeer-review