Melissa Walker talks about the Jazz House Kids Program at 2013 Jazz Connect Conference.
Series of Workshops, Panels and Events on
January 8-9, 2015 will Address Important Issues and
Trends in the Jazz Community
The Jazz Connect Conference, organized by JazzTimes and the Jazz Forward Coalition, announced the dates and location for the annual gathering of the jazz community in 2015. The conference will be held January 8-9, 2015 at Saint Peter’s Church in New York City and will lead into the annual APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) Conference as well as Winter Jazzfest. Now in its third year, the conference will continue to focus on vital issues affecting the jazz community carrying on the format and momentum from the January 2014 event which had over 800 registrants. The Jazz Connect Conference in 2015 will present a series of workshops, panels and events held over the course of two days to engage, stimulate and challenge the registrants.
Moderators and panelists will again include an impressive cross-section of artists and professionals from around the world. Among the panelists and speakers in past Jazz Connect Conferences have been Ben Allison, Marty Ashby, Gail Boyd, Ben Cameron, Jim Donio, Sara Donnelly, Dave Douglas, Rachel Ford, Robert Glasper, Bryan Grone, Jana Herzen, Tim Jackson, Willard Jenkins, Michael Kline, Vijay Iyer, Karen Kennedy, Jana La Sorte, Jeff Levenson, Derrick Lucas, Danny Melnick, Allison Miller, Jason Moran, Wulf Muller, Arturo O’Farrill, Greg Osby, Eddie Palmieri, Al Pryor, Vernon Reid, Michael Ricci, Mark Ruffin, Matthew Shipp, Scott Southard, Meghan Stabile, Ed Trefsger, Matt Wilson, Isabel Yrigoyen and many other notable artists and professionals. Early Bird Registration is only $75 until September 30, with additional discounts offered to members of various organizations.
Arturo O’Farrill addresses audience at 2013 Conference.
The Jazz Connect conference is organized by Peter Gordon of the Jazz Forward Coalition and Lee Mergner of JazzTimes, with assistance and input from over a dozen industry professionals. With a theme of “Strength Through Community” the conference will again bring together a wide cross-section of the jazz community for 12 workshops and 5 plenary sessions, on a variety of timely and engaging subjects. “One of the great pleasures I’ve witnessed at the conference is the reemergence of jazz engaging with itself,” says Gordon. “What better time than now to put our collective intelligence to work, creating a giant shared resource. What better time than now to show our unity, dedication and vitality. And invite the world to take the breath of life we call jazz.”
Saint Peter’s provides a unique setting for this gathering of the jazz community. The church has a long history of supporting and affiliating with jazz, going back to 1965 when the Reverend John Gensel created the Jazz Ministry. Over the years, Pastor Gensel officiated at many weddings and baptisms, as well as countless funerals and memorial services for both little-known and legendary musicians and champions of jazz, including Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Eubie Blake, Alberta Hunter, Erroll Garner, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Roy Eldridge, Sarah Vaughan, Teddy Wilson, Major Holley, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, Mel Lewis, John Hammond, Barney Josephson, and Max Gordon.
Today, the church works with organizations such as the Duke Ellington Society, the Jazz Foundation of America, International Women in Jazz and Chamber Music America, and it hosts a variety of events, from jazz vespers to memorial services, throughout the year. “Saint Peter’s has been a gathering place for the jazz community in New York since 1965,” explains Ike Sturm, music director for the Jazz Ministry at the church. “Jazz Connect strikes me as a perfect complement to what the Jazz Ministry has stood for since the beginning: community, support, celebration and creativity.” The church will be providing the conference with multiple and spacious multi-purpose rooms, including a black box theater, for the workshop and panel sessions.
The Jazz Connect Conference is one of several pre-conferences tied to APAP, but due to the large number of attendees, the conference moved from its location for the last three years at the Hilton New York to nearby Saint Peter’s Church. The Jazz Connect Conference is part of “January in NYC Is the Place to Be for the Performing Arts,” celebrating the unmatched convergence of performing arts professionals, audiences and events in New York City. Every January, more than 45,000 people from around the globe flock to New York City for public festivals and industry gatherings, featuring over 1,500 performances by thousands of world-class artists of all disciplines and genres, including world music, theatre, dance, jazz, and more.
Mark Ruffin of Sirius/XM on radio panel at 2014 Conference.
JazzTimes is the official publication for the event. “The magazine has a long history of involvement with jazz industry conferences-from the JazzTimes Conventions during 1979-1998 to the industry track at the IAJE conferences during 2000-2009,” explains Mergner, group publisher for JazzTimes. “The Jazz Connect Conference represents a natural progression from the past and we’re happy to partner with the Jazz Forward Coalition to bring together all the diverse segments of the jazz community for two days.”
For more information about the Jazz Connect conference, you can e-mail [email protected]. To pre-register for the conference, go to the event page. To reserve a table-top display or to advertise in the Conference edition of JazzTimes, contact Miene Smith at 617-706-9092 or [email protected].
Attendees can get a special discount at the host hotels for the APAP|NYC conference, but must go through the APAP|NYC website.
About the Jazz Forward Coalition
The Jazz Forward Coalition (JFC) is a consortium of industry leaders focused on enhancing jazz’s vitality and cultural relevance for audience development. JFC is focused on developing programs and platforms to support its two central themes of advocacy and infrastructure. By providing a global voice, JFC will cultivate opportunities to motivate growth for current and future generations to expand jazz’s cultural footprint.
JazzTimes is America’s preeminent jazz magazine providing irreverent, uncompromising and often provocative coverage of the American jazz scene. Relying on an award-winning editorial staff, JazzTimes encompasses special themes, directories, comprehensive news reports and an extensive music review section. JazzTimes is a must-read for the jazz enthusiast. On the web at www.jazztimes.com
About Saint Peter’s Church
The Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s Church (often referred to as “the jazz church”) began in 1965 in New York City, serving musicians and their families and opening the doors of the church to jazz. Weekly vespers services support guest musicians and promote new expression and fellowship, while educational programs, public concerts, memorials and festivals help creatively shape the life of New York City. www.saintpeters.org