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IAJE Makes Commitment To New York In 2004, 2006-7 And 2010

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) will return to New York City to hold its 31st Annual Conference from January 21 – 24. The New York Hilton and Sheraton Hotels will host the world's largest gathering of the global jazz community with over 7,000 educators, musicians, students and industry representatives from 35 countries expected to attend. The IAJE conference was last held in New York three years ago and has made a long-term commitment to the city with scheduled returns in 2006, 2007, and 2010. Toronto, Canada hosted the annual jazz confab in 2003.

“The organization is excited about our return to the most important city in the world for jazz," states IAJE Executive Director Bill McFarlin. "Traditionally we have moved the conference each year to a different city; however, we will now showcase New York on a more permanent basis. It is clear that the jazz field benefits most from a New York based conference and we are answering that call.”

Over 150 artists and clinicians will participate in the conference program, including: Paquito D'Rivera featuring the New York Voices (presented in partnership with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild); Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra; Take 6; The Heath Brothers with special guest Clark Terry; Dave Holland Quintet; Nicholas Payton; Saxophone Summit featuring Joe Lovano, David Liebman and Michael Brecker; Jamie Cullum; Maria Schneider Orchestra; Jason Moran; Michel Camilo Trio; David Sanchez; Brussells Jazz Orchestra; Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; Bob Brookmeyer and the New Art Orchestra; The Lynn Arriale Trio; Caribbean Jazz Project; Convergence; Orbert Davis &The Chicago Jazz Ensemble; Lorraine Desmaris Trio; Rosana Eckert; John Fedchock New York Big Band; Flutology; David Friesen; The Global Jazz Orchestra (Japan); Hiromi; Mike Holober and The Gotham Jazz Orchestra; The Greg Hopkins Quintet; Robert Hurst Quartet; U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors; M-PACT; Phil Woods and Hubert Laws (tribute to Herbie Mann); Bill Mays Trio; George Robert; Mulgrew Miller Trio; Charles Pillow &Pictures of New; Tim Ries; Shapes; Bobby Watson &Horizon; and the Walt Weiskopf Nonet.

The Music Academy of Gauteng in Benoni, South Africa, noted for its program, which provides instruments and jazz instruction opportunities for homeless children, is one of the school ensembles scheduled to perform. Other school ensembles will participate from Australia, France, Japan, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Israel, and the United States. The IAJE Conference will host the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards Concert for the 14th consecutive year. Established in 1982, the NEA Jazz Masters program each year elevates a select number of living figures to its ranks, conferring on them the nation's highest honor for jazz artists. NEA Chairman Dana Gioia has announced a major expansion of the program in 2004 to include an NEA Jazz Masters touring program, a compact disc release (in partnership with the Verve Music Group), and expanded NEA Jazz Master Award categories.

IAJE President David N. Baker welcomed the news of the expansion of the NEA Jazz Masters program. Baker, himself an NEA Jazz Master (named in 2000), stated, “The vision of the Chairman of the Endowment and his leadership in this new enhancement initiative is truly brilliant and I believe it will impact the jazz field in a major way. The decision to place the NEA Jazz Masters award on a par with the Pulitzer Prize as the highest award our nation can bestow in the jazz field is a courageous act and an historic event.”

The 2004 recipients are guitarist Jim Hall, drummer Chico Hamilton, pianist Herbie Hancock, arranger-composer Luther Henderson (1919-2003), singer Nancy Wilson and music critic Nat Hentoff. They will be honored during a special awards concert to be held on the evening of January 23 and televised nationwide. Each Jazz Master will receive a one-time fellowship award of $25,000.

The 4th Annual IAJE Gala Dinner, scheduled for January 21, at the New York Sheraton Hotel, will honor Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis with the IAJE President's Award and Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein with the Lawrence Berk Leadership Award. The Gala will be hosted by Nancy Wilson, and all proceeds will benefit the IAJE Global Outreach Fund. The IAJE Presidents Award, which honors an individual for their extraordinary contributions to the field of jazz education, was presented to Dr. Oscar Peterson in 2003, Quincy Jones in 2002 and Ken Burns in 2001.

Jazz education, as always, will be at the heart of the conference agenda with approximately 125 clinics and workshops on far-ranging topics and subjects such as jazz history, improvisation, technology, composition, arranging, performance techniques, and teacher training.

The IAJE Conference industry track will boast upwards of two dozen hot topic sessions for 2004. These insightful and often times controversial panels and workshops are geared to members of the jazz recording, journalism, presenting, performing, retail, and radio industry. With sponsorship and support from Jazz Times, BET Jazz, Jazziz, Down Beat, NARAS, the Jazz Journalists Association, and DL Media, the industry track will provide an opportunity for industry members to interact with jazz educators and musicians in a series of sessions that encourage honest exchange of ideas and strategies for the new century. Industry track panelists include Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Haynes, Dan Morganstern, Kurt Elling, Bob Blumenthal, and record label heads Bruce Lundvall (Blue Note), Ron Goldstein (Verve), Jeff Jones (Columbia/Legacy), Randall Kennedy (Warner Bros.), and David Weyner (RCA/BMG).

The International Jazz Festivals Organization (IJFO) and the IAJE will present the third annual International Jazz Award. The award has been revised for 2004 to recognize a rising artist who has yet to sign a major record contract. In addition to receiving a $5,000 prize, the recipient will tour a minimum of six of IJFO's member festivals during the summer of 2004 and will also receive career counseling and support. The award will be presented to Italian saxophonist Francesco Cafiso (14), who toured throughout Europe in 2003 with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and was the 2002 winner of the Eurojazz Competition. IFJO is made up of the following major jazz festivals: Jazzfest Wien (Vienna, Austria); Festival International Jazz De Montreal (Montreal, Canada); Pori Jazz (Pori, Finland); Jazz A Vienne (Vienne, France); Umbria Jazz (Perugia, Italy); North Sea Jazz Festival (The Hague, The Netherlands); Molde International Jazz Festival (Molde, Norway); Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival (Vitoria, Spain); Montreux Jazz Festival (Montreux, Switzerland); International Istanbul Jazz Festival (Istanbul, Turkey); Vancouver International Jazz Festival (British Columbia, Canada); Monterey Jazz Festival (California, USA); London Jazz Festival (London, England).

Other conference highlights will include performances by the BET Jazz Sisters in Jazz Collegiate All-Stars, the winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Jas Hennessy Piano and Saxophone Competition, and the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship Recipients (supported in part by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts). The world premiere of the Herb Albert Jazz Endowment Fund Gil Evans Commission and the ASCAP/IAJE Commissions (honoring Quincy Jones) will also be presented during the conference.

A 70,000 sq. ft. music industry exposition will round out the conference with upwards of 300 exhibits representing a diverse mix of companies including festivals, publishers, manufacturers, agencies, schools, and record companies. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen