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The IAJE Conference

The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) will inhabit the Canadian metropolis of Toronto when it returns for the 35th Annual Conference from January 9-12, 2008. The conference was held in Toronto for the first time in 2003. Widely considered as one of the most diverse cities in the world, Toronto has much to offer IAJE conference participants. It is a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant nightlife, a strong jazz community, and a major scene for music, theatre, performing arts and architectural attractions such as the CN Tower and the Distillery District. The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto Sheraton and Intercontinental Hotels along with the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will serve as the headquarters for the largest annual gathering of the global jazz community.

Upwards of 7,000 educators, musicians, record executives, exhibitors, media, students and enthusiasts are expected to attend the 35th Annual IAJE Conference. In 2009, Seattle is set to host IAJE for the first time; New York City is committed to host again in 2010. Then, IAJE heads down to the Big Easy in 2011 when it returns for a second time to New Orleans.

Education, teacher training and outreach will be firmly at the heart of the four-day conference agenda that will also feature Canada's most respected and influential jazz performing artists. With the variety of clinics, concerts, and a 70,000 square-foot music industry exposition with something for everyone, the 2008 IAJE conference program promises to be one of the strongest conferences yet.

On Wednesday, January 9 at 6pm, conference highlights begin with the 8th Annual IAJE Gala Dinner, hosted by Nancy Wilson. Manchester Craftsmen's Guild founder Bill Strickland is set to receive the Lawrence Berk Leadership Award, and the 2008 IAJE Presidents Award will be presented to Senator Tommy Banks and Paquito D'Rivera. Proceeds from the ticketed event will benefit the IAJE Campaign for Jazz.

On Friday, January 11 at 8pm, the IAJE Conference will host the 2008 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Awards Concert in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The NEA Jazz Masters award is the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American art form. Each recipient is set to receive a $25,000 fellowship, and the opportunity to participate in other promotional and performance activities. Sadly, one of the 2008 honorees, renowned pianist and composer Andrew Hill, was notified of his receipt of the award shortly before his death. Hill spent 40 years composing, performing, recording, and mentoring young musicians. He earned acclaim for his innovative performances and compositions beginning in the 1960s.

In addition to Hill, the 2008 NEA Jazz Masters are: rhythm instrumentalist Candido Camero; bandleader Quincy Jones; composer-arranger Tom McIntosh; trumpeter Joe Wilder and the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Master Award for Jazz Advocacy is being given to classical and jazz composer-arranger Gunther Schuller. The NEA, in partnership with the Canadian Council for the Arts, will also give a special award to Dr. Oscar Peterson for his unique role as a Canadian Jazz Master. The awards concert will feature performances by Kurt Elling and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra conducted by David Baker. The concert and ceremony will be open to all registered attendees.

Other artists scheduled to perform at the 2008 IAJE Conference include: Aaron Goldberg Trio featuring Eric Harland & Reuben Rogers, Altsys Jazz Orchestra with guest saxophonist Donny McCaslin, Art of Jazz Orchestra with Kevin Mahogany, Barry Romberg's Random Access Large Ensemble, Christian Scott, Christine Jensen Quintet, Clay Jenkins, Convergence, Courtney Pine, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society North, Davidson/Murley/Braid Quintet (DMBQ), Deborah J. Carter Quartet, Dennis Rollins' Badbone & Co., Denny Zeitlin Solo Piano, Empirical, Esperanza Spalding, Francois Houle Octet, Gabriel Alegria's Afro-Peruvian Jazz Sextet, Gregoire Maret & Andy Milne Duo, Heinrich von Kalnein Songlines, Jacqui Naylor, Joel Harrison and Harbor, Jovino Santos Neto Trio, Kenny Werner & Roseanna Vitro, Les Projectionnistes, Lionel Loueke, MB3, Martin Taylor's Freternity, Marty Ehrlich & Myra Melford Duo, New York Voices with Paquito D'Rivera, Nimmons 'n' Nine Now!, Nordic Connect, Ralph Bowen, Sachal Vasandani, Sofia Koutsovitis, The Delirium Blues Project featuring the NYU Student All-Stars, The Tierney Sutton Band, Tim Posgate Hornband featuring Howard Johnson, Tommy Smith National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Toru Dodo Trio, Valeria Matzner, and many more.

The conference will feature over 100 performances by internationally recognized artists and school groups and includes daily concerts featuring professional jazz artists representing the diversity of jazz worldwide, the IAJE Sisters In Jazz Collegiate All-Stars, the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars, Community College All-Star Student Big Band, and a number of outstanding school ensembles from around the world. Other conference highlights include the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition winners; the world premieres of the works of the ASCAP, Gil Evans, and SOCAN award winners; research paper presentations; and pre-conference workshops to provide training and development for IAJE volunteer leaders and chapter officers.

WBGO Jazz 88 FM, CBC Radio and Jazz FM 91 are the IAJE Conference host radio stations that will broadcast daily from the site.

The 2008 IAJE Conference Industry Track will focus on career development, new media, the recording industry, and personalized consultation. These insightful and sometimes controversial panels and workshops are geared to members of the jazz recording, journalism, presenting, performing, retail, and radio industries. With sponsorship and support from JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, JazzWeek, the NEA, NARAS, the Jazz Journalists Association, Jazz FM 91 and DL Media, the Industry Track will provide an opportunity for industry members, jazz educators, and musicians to interact with each other in a series of sessions that encourage an honest exchange of ideas and strategies for the future.

Among the Industry Track highlights, one-on-one interviews with Paul Bley and Candido Camero, Dr. Billy Taylor interviews Roy Haynes, Kurt Elling interviews Jon Hendricks, and A.B. Spellman interviews the 2008 NEA Jazz Masters.

All U.S. citizens will be required to have a passport to re-enter the United States. Please allow at least six weeks for the processing of a new passport. Visit the U.S. State Department web site to learn more and obtain an application. For travel from other countries, please contact your home country's Department of Foreign Affairs, Identity and Passport Service, or Department of Internal or Home Affairs.

Saturday, December 15, is the deadline for the advance full conference registration fee of $353 U.S., which includes a one-year IAJE membership. After December 15, the full registration fee will be $398 U.S. Current IAJE members can deduct $73 U.S. Special rates for students, retired members, and spouses are also available. The conference registration fee covers all sessions and activities except the IAJE Gala. For more information, to register for the conference or purchase tickets for the gala, call IAJE at (785) 776-8744, fax (785) 776-6190, or log on to the IAJE website

All working press interested in attending the IAJE conference must send a letter of request for credentials by Friday, December 21 that details the nature of pre, post or combined conference coverage.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

In the U.S.: Don Lucoff and Stephanie Brown/DL Media Phone: (610) 667-0501 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In Canada: Diana Nazareth/DL Media Phone: (416) 815-8883 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various
  • Press Release Date: January 9-12, 2008
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