World's Largest Jazz Conference: New York City January 11-14

The International Association for Jazz Education returns to New York City for its 33rd Annual Conference from January 11-14, 2006. The Hilton New York and Sheraton New York Hotels will serve as the headquarters for the largest annual gathering of the global jazz community, with over 7, 000 educators, musicians, industry executives, exhibitors, media and students from 35 countries expected to attend. New York is committed to host the conference again in 2007 and in 2010. IAJE heads north to Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2008.

Education, teacher training and networking will be firmly at the heart of the conference agenda, combined with an impressive performance schedule. In addition, the conference will feature a 75, 000 square-foot industry exposition, commission premieres, technology presentations, research papers, award ceremonies, and top school groups from Europe, Australia, Croatia, Peru, Israel, Canada, and the United States.

The WDR Big Band from Cologne, Germany returns to IAJE with two performances. On Thursday, January 12, with Djangology, a tribute to Django Reinhart featuring gypsy guitarist Bireli Lagrene. And on Saturday, January 14, with the world premiere of a clarinet concerto written and arranged by Michael Abene for special guest Paquito D'Rivera (broadcast live on German Public Radio.)

Nordic Now, a consortium of professional and student groups from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland will showcase the vibrant Scandinavian jazz community. A highlight will be a closing night performance by Norway's Trondheim Jazz Orchestra with special guest, GRAMMY winning pianist-composer Chick Corea. Corea, who is set to receive an NEA Jazz Masters Award during the conference, will also perform that evening with Jack DeJohnette and Eddie Gomez (their first time together as a trio.)

The No Name Horses Jazz Orchestra directed by Makoto Ozone, comprised of first call studio jazz musicians based in Japan, are among the musical highlights of the evening concerts. Also performing at the conference: Ravi Coltrane Quartet; Maria Schneider Orchestra; Oscar Castro-Neves; Monty Alexander Trio featuring Hassan Shakur and Herlin Riley; Jane Ira Bloom/Like Silver, Like Song; Jazz Big Band Graz featuring Theo Bleckmann and the music of John Hollenbeck; John Fedchock NY Sextet; Jim Cullum Jazz Band; Karrin Allyson; EST; Robert Glasper; Stefon Harris & Blackout; Andy Milne & Dapp Theory; Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra; I Am Three Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty; Bob Mintzer Big Band; Nimmons 'N' Nine...Now!; Kitty Margolis; The Millennium Jazz Orchestra & Fay Claasen; Lionel Loueke's Gilfema Trio; Jean-Michel Pilc Trio; Dafnis Prieto Quintet; Kenny Werner Trio; Christian Scott; Andy Scott-Dave Hassell Duo; Curti! s Stigers; U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble with Buddy DeFranco; University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band; Javon Jackson Band, and many more.

The IAJE Conference will host the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards Concert for the 16th consecutive year on Friday, January 13. Initiated in 1982, the NEA Jazz Master title is the highest honor presented by the American government to the nation's jazz artists. In addition to the coveted designation, each NEA Jazz Master will receive a fellowship award of $25, 000 and be invited to participate in outreach efforts, including broadcasts and NEA Jazz Masters On Tour. The awards concert will feature performances by The Count Basie Orchestra with special guest Nnenna Freelon and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra. The seven fellowship award recipients for 2006 are: percussionist Ray Barretto, the most widely recorded conguero in jazz history; vocalist extraordinaire Tony Bennett, who infuses his passion for jazz in every phrase; arranger-composer Bob Brookmeyer, the master orchestrator of modern jazz ensembles, small and large; pianist-composer Chick Corea, who has dazzled audiences in every idiom from acoustic avant-garde to samba-tinged fusion; clarinet virtuoso Buddy DeFranco, who triumphantly spans the swing and bebop eras; blazing trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, one of the defining voices of hard bop; and talent manager John Levy, who for over 50 years has managed the careers of such artists as Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, and Nancy Wilson.

The 6th Annual IAJE Gala Dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11, in the Trianon Ballroom of the Hilton New York Hotel, the gala will be hosted by NEA Jazz Master and GRAMMY Award winning vocalist Nancy Wilson with proceeds benefiting the IAJE Global Outreach Fund. North Sea Jazz Festival director Theo van den hoek will receive the Lawrence Berk Leadership Award during the Gala for his service and support of IAJE and the 2006 IAJE Presidents Award winner will be announced. The IAJE Presidents Award, which honors an individual for their extraordinary contributions to the field of jazz education, was presented to Herbie Hancock in 2005, Wynton Marsalis in 2004, Dr. Oscar Peterson in 2003, Quincy Jones in 2002 and Ken Burns in 2001.

The International Jazz Festivals Organization and the IAJE will present the 5th annual International Jazz Award for New Talent, which recognizes a rising artist who has yet to sign a major record contract. The 2006 award will be presented to Norwegian saxophonist Kjetil Mster. A Graduate of the Trondheim Music Conservatory, Mster has participated in a large number of groups in Norway, from the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra with Chick Corea and Pat Metheny, to free explorations with Paal Nilssen-Love and Maja Ratkje. Mster will also perform during the conference.

The 2006 IAJE Conference industry track, under the auspices of Jazz Alliance International, will focus on career development, new media, the recording industry, and personalized consultation. 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 JazzTimes, BET Jazz: The 24-Hour Jazz Channel, Jazziz, Down Beat, JazzWeek, NARAS, the Jazz Journalists Association, WBGO Jazz 88 FM, Billboard Magazine, 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 future. Among the Industry Track highlights are exclusive one-on-one interviews with NEA Jazz Masters Sonny Rollins, Dr. Billy ! Taylor, and Clark Terry.

Other conference highlights will include the world premiere of the Herb Alpert Endowment Fund Gil Evans Commission and the ASCAP/IAJE Commissions honoring Ornette Coleman; a performance by winners of the Montreux Jazz Festival piano and saxophone competition; a SOCAN sponsored premiere of works by Canadian jazz composer Phil Nimmons; and performances by IAJE talent recognition ensembles including the Sisters in Jazz Collegiate All-Stars, the IAJE/NFAA Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship All-Stars, the AAJC/HBCU Student All-Star Big Band, and the Community College All-Star Student Big Band.

Other awards presented during the IAJE Conference will include the IAJE Jazz Education Hall of Fame to Berklee College of Music retired President Lee Berk, IAJE Humanitarian Award to NEA Jazz Master IAJE Advisory Council member Jimmy Heath, and the first IAJE Jazz Ambassador Award to Australian educator and trumpeter Pat Crichton.

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