Dr Simon Petty kindly agreed to talk to us about his background, research interests, and current research projects. Simon calls himself “new old” because he has been around for many years at Griffith, both as a student and sessional lecturer.

Simon is an educator, musician, and researcher. He has over a decade of experience teaching simultaneously in primary, middle, and senior schools, including several leadership appointments. Most recently, Simon was an Instrumental Music Coordinator in a P-12 school. He was also Head of the Arts Department (6-12), and combined teaching with doing his PhD, which he finished at the end of 2020. Simon joined GIER this year, and so far, he loves working full-time at Griffith.

Simon’s research expertise is in the areas of Australian Jazz, Jazz Diaspora Studies, Jazz Pedagogy, Music Education, Instrumental Music, Curriculum and Pedagogy. He primarily looks at diaspora studies in music and jazz. Specifically, how jazz developed outside the United States, and how it was transported and disseminated in places around the world.

As a musician, Simon plays multiple instruments. He primarily plays trumpet, which he studied as his undergraduate Bachelor of Music Studies major at the Queensland Conservatorium. This very talented musician can also play most of the other brass instruments, plus some piano as well.

Simon’s research is part of the interdisciplinary field of jazz diasporas and New Jazz Studies (NJS). Along with a selection of other musicologists globally, Simon is working to internationalise jazz scholarship. He is currently awaiting the release of The Companion to Diasporic Jazz Studies, which he contributes a chapter. The book will be a pioneering academic multi-authored collection that will present global perspectives of jazz diaspora. Simon said, “This will be a landmark in terms of a multi-volume book on global jazz diasporas”. A collection of international contributors all wrote different chapters, showing how jazz has developed in their countries. We are all excited to see this book.

Simon is currently writing some pedagogical papers, which are about teaching jazz in the Australian context. His forthcoming articles focus on what teaching jazz looks like in the Australian context and how we incorporate Australian jazz and Australian culture and heritage into our teaching practice. Simon suggested that, as a society we need to focus more on including our own cultural identity in the inclusion of methodologies in music education. He has also recently submitted an article for publication on the inclusion of NJS perspectives in rethinking jazz education methodologies. He seems very committed to this cause.