Skip to Content

Research Collaborator

University of Guelph

Dr. Spring is an ethnomusicologist who focuses on the music of the Circum-Atlantic, jazz history, improvisation, jazz and dance, and music of the twentieth century. He has published research on the beginnings of swing jazz in New York during the late 1920s and early 1930s and the history of the relationship between social dance and jazz, as well as analyses of the improvisational style of seminal jazz electric guitarist Charlie Christian. Dr. Spring is also a jazz guitarist and teacher. He holds a PhD in musicology (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and a MFA and BFA in sociology (York University).

Improvisation is, simply put, being and living this very moment. No one can hide in music, and improvising in music is to be truly in this very moment and being completely yourself, with all your qualities and faults. It is probably the most honest state for a human being to be in.

– John McLaughlin in an interview with Daniel Fischlin.