"To say we are living in the worst of times seems to be true, especially the amount of deaths we are witnessing and could personally be going through via a friend, oneself or a family member.
Jazz particularly suffers because the need for interaction cannot be replaced by ZOOM, etc. This is equally true for any of the performing arts. The best we can do in a time like this is to rely on the positive vibes and innate spirituality we all receive from jazz and in fact all meaningful music. This is as listeners and performers.
One of the important strengths of jazz music is in the incredible camaraderie present, sometimes taken for granted. For those who have been at the IASJ Jazz Meetings, you have heard me reiterate these points at my ending lectures over the years. As teachers, we have to hold these truths to be self-evident (as the American Declaration of Independence states so eloquently). Our students look up to us as mentors and pillars of strength. This responsibility cannot be overstated.
We are a community of like-minded people. We must remember this and hold ourselves to a high standard in our interactions. At times like this I personally go back to the music of late Coltrane as a resource. Whatever works, use it!!”
2021 IASJ Jazz Meeting: 5-10 July, Munich Germany
The 2021 IASJ Jazz Meeting takes place in ‘hybrid’ form. Part of the meeting will ‘live’ another part will be ‘online’. Most likely at least 3 student combos will be formed in Munich. Travelling and housing permitting, the number of combos can ‘last minute’ be moved up to six. The final concerts, the lectures and the ongoing dialogues and the general assembly will be streamed.
From the 1st January till end of March particpants can be proposed by a form on the website of the 2021 IASJ Jazz Meeting, Munich:
Within the IASJ at various levels students, teachers and heads of departments are responding to the BLM-movement. Here is an ‘open question’ from Ed Sarath. Please see his website for contact information, as well as his book ‘Black Music Matters’
Here is a question for IASJ members outside the US. I am trying to get a sense of what kind of conversation is happening in music schools in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
I know on a societal level there are protests happening around the world. And here in the US, there is an entirely new wave of related activism happening in music schools—probably for the first time ever in our field.
While it is amazing and inspiring to see—it still falls far short, in my view, of what is needed and I have launched some initiatives on this front that I hope will take the conversation and action to entirely new levels.
Is there any activism along these lines happening at the European conservatories? Australia? South America? etc.
The Jazz Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, organizes its annual Darmstadt Jazz Forum, 30 September till 2 October 2021. The title and the content of the conference is triggered by the Black Lives Matters movement: “From the New World”. Eurocentrism in Jazz.