Tuesday, January 12, 2016

USA: Jazz Connect Conference Finalizes Programming

Conference in NYC to Bring Together the 
International Jazz Community for Two Days of 
Panels, Workshops, Meetings and Special Events

Programming Includes Special Events Sponsored 
by NPR Musicthe New York Chapter of the Recording Academy and the Royal Norwegian Consulate

Christian McBride                                 Maria Schneider                                   Robert Glasper

The Jazz Connect Conference has finalized its programming for the event being held Thursday, January 14 and Friday, January 15, 2016 at Saint Peter's Church in New York City.  The program includes over 20 panels and workshops addressing a wide array of timely topics and issues, such as social media, presenting, radio airplay, media coverage, booking opportunities, audience development, music streaming services, music licensing and many other practical areas.  Panelists include both artists (including Christian McBride, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Marc Cary, Keyon Harrold, Robert Glasper and Maria Schneider) and industry professionals (including Ariel Hyatt, Willard Jenkins, Gail Boyd, Scott Southard, Howard Mandel, Dick Huey, Brad Stone, James Donio, Ashley Kahn, Roseanna Vitro, Wulf Müller and Robert Todd).  See the schedule here.   
Several of the sessions are the result of partnerships with various organizations, including the Jazz Journalists Association, JazzWeek, Future of Music Coalition, Music Business Association, NPR Music, The New York Chapter of the Recording Academy, ASCAP, AFM - Local 802, Jazz Education Network and the Royal Norwegian Consulate.  "It is our strong belief that we grow as a community by expanding our boundaries through working with other leading organizations in the music industry," says Peter Gordon, conference co-organizer. "We are pleased to present some wonderful forums to learn new models for advancement in addition to encouraging an active exchange of ideas." 
The inimitable singer/radio host/actress/bandleader Dee Dee Bridgewater will give the keynote address at the conference.  Over the course of a career spanning a few decades, Ms. Bridgewater has evolved into a true ambassador of jazz, with the United Nations as well as the Thelonious Monk Institute.  Her recent commencement address to Berklee College of Music graduates was a YouTube sensation.  A three time GRAMMY® Award-winner, Ms. Bridgewater has demonstrated the value of staying true to a creative vision without losing touch with the audience.
In addition, there will be numerous special events, such as an opening mixer reception sponsored by NPR Music and "Jazz Night in America," the nationally-syndicated radio program that also features state of the art video.  On Friday afternoon, The New York York Chapter of the Recording Academy is sponsoring a screening of the film documentary "Jaco" presenting the world of bassist extraordinaire Jaco Pastorius, considered by many to be jazz's last great innovator on an instrument.  Featured film interviews include commentary from Sting, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Joni Mitchell. A panel discussion (moderated by Christian McBride and featuring filmmaker Paul Marchand as well as Randy Brecker, Mike Stern and Bill Milkowski) examining his life and music will follow the screening.  The Royal Norwegian Consulate is presenting a panel on jazz in Norway and will also host a performance by guitarist Lage Lund and a "wrap-party" to close out the conference on Friday.
The much-discussed biopic on Miles Davis by Don Cheadle, "Miles Ahead," is the subject of a session hosted by Ashley Kahn. The panel will show some clips from the movie and talk about how the music was created for the film and speakers include artists Robert Glasper and Keyon Harrold, music supervisor Ed Gerrard and representing the Miles Davis Estate, Vince Wilburn.
The conference also includes the popular "Ask the Experts" session in which members of the jazz community get the opportunity to meet face-to-face for 10 minutes (speed-dating style) with influential and experienced industry leaders representing these issue areas: Labels/Recording/Product Management; DIY Management; Marketing/Social Media; Publicity/Promotion; and Presenting/Booking/Touring.  Interested parties can sign up on-site.
The conference is organized by JazzTimes and the Jazz Forward Coalition. The host hotel is the DoubleTree Metropolitan at 51st & Lexington.  For more information on the Conference or to register for the event, go to jazz-connect.com.  The Conference hotline is 617-315-9158.

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