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Jazz Education Network: Our Network is growing#149;

Jazzed Magazine • Guest EditorialMay 2010 • May 13, 2010


“We, the practitioners of this precious art form, have an enormous responsibility to stay true to the core values of jazz and the great players, composers, educators, and audiences who gave the best of their lives to this music — are expecting us to take it forward.” —- Kahil El’zabar

Dear Friends,

My intentions in starting JEN with Dr. Lou Fischer have been sincere and heartfelt. It was the right time to re-ignite an inspired jazz education community with a broad sense of inclusiveness and globalness. I believe we must embrace the music as inspiration for innovative thought and sharing. As we discussed at the Brubeck Institute last month, jazz is an art that is ever changing. We not only learn about music in jazz education, we learn about courage, risk taking, spirituality, humanity, humility ,and an ability to relate improvisation to all aspects of life!

I believe JEN must completely embrace the spirit of innovation at the core of its purpose. We must allow and inspire improvisation in all aspects of teaching, performance, theory and living! Be innovative, encourage the young to find their own voice…and yet remain a place of homage for the true visionaries! We have a chance to express what Louis Armstrong always inspired in us all, a love for music and all humanity! Jazz education must be accessible to all people, and relative to all cultures!

As friend Kahil El’zabar reminded me, jazz has always been a tool for conflict resolution and higher self development. We, the practitioners of this precious art form, have an enormous responsibility to stay true to the core values of jazz. The great players, composers, educators, and audiences who gave the best of their lives to this music are expecting us to take it forward. Kahil’s words inspired me on the weekend JEN was founded (June 1, 2008).

As I write my final letter to you as the first President of JEN, so very many emotions come to mind over the last two years of experiences…devastation and unbelief have turned into pride of accomplishment and total hope and optimism for the future of our new organization and jazz education itself.

It is with great enthusiasm that our board presents three days of quality performances, clinics, panels, and special events at this inaugural conference May 20-22. Register online now at to attend this exciting and historic conference. The city of St. Louis and UMSL have opened up their arms to us for our first “jazz hang,” and it wouldn’t be happening without the hard work of UMSL Director of Jazz Studies, Jim Widner and his crew! His vision and determination, along with the hard work of the JEN Executive Committee and Board, have made this dream a reality. Many people are to be commended.

Thank you, thank you, thank you….

This first conference is special because all performers are donating their time and talents to make this inaugural conference a quality one. All the planning has been done by volunteers. Special thanks to the students and staff of UMSL, Touhill, and the Millenium Student Center for hosting JEN. Thanks to my co-founder Lou Fischer, who has worked tirelessly and devoted more hours than you can imagine since JEN’s inception.

Thanks to all of you who voted for the proposed Board of Directors new candidates. The new board members are Paul Bangser, Orbert Davis, Monika Herzog, and incumbents Paul Chiarvalle and Bob Sinicrope. Willard Jenkins has replaced founding board member Steve Crissinger who is now serving as part time Office Manager. The newly elected will take office July 1. Thanks for your continued support of the new JEN leadership. Outgoing board members Jackie Harris, Jim Widner, John Wittman have given selflessly and will be sorely missed.

Committed to arts education, it has been my honor and pleasure to represent JEN at NAMM, MFA, Puerto Vallarta Jazz Fest, Brubeck Festival, Chicago Jazz Summit, South Africa Jazz Education Association, Quincy Jones Music Consortium, NEA Jazz Masters, and National Endowment for the Arts, and many other events. The capable President-Elect Lou Fischer will take over the leadership of JEN on July 1. May we all continue to work TOGETHER to advance jazz education, promote performance, and develop new audiences for this global art form that was born in America and is now played worldwide!

In the spirit of excellence and with the advancement of jazz education always in mind…I have enjoyed serving you and look forward to working as Past President, and developing more student programs. See you in St. Louis in May and New Orleans January 6-8, 2011!

Mary Jo Papich
President, Jazz Education Network
Interim Fine Arts Director
Niles School District 219
5701 W. Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077

Noteworthy News

We hope you are attending our first annual conference upcoming at the beautiful University of Missouri – St. Louis campus, May 20-22nd, 2010. On the heels of that inaugural event, We are PROUD to announce JEN’s 2nd Annual Conference to be held in historic New Orleans January 6-8, 2011! Submissions will be taken online for clinicians, performers, school groups from now until June 15th! Visit regularly for more details! JOIN JEN TODAY if you are not already a member! (Note: recieving the magazine does not mean you are a bonafide member of JEN. The magazine goes to many educators free of charge…and JEN relies on the support of educators and industry to operate.)

The biennial South African Association for Jazz Education Conference (JEN affiliate) was held March 27-30 at the beautiful University of Cape Town under the direction of President DR. MIKE ROSSI (Expert, Developing Countries), Professor of Jazz Studies. There were many sessions to attend and impressive evening concerts. The conference was hosted by the SA College of Music at UCT and the National Arts Council, SENA-SAMRO Endowment for the Arts and BASA Business and Arts South Africa. President MARY JO PAPICH (IL) and President Elect DR. LOU FISCHER (OH), along with founding members JUDY SHAFER (OH) and DENNIS TINI (MI), and Charter member DR. GLORIA COOPER (NY), and GORDON VERNICK presented and/or performed at the invitation of SAJE as US delegates to the conference. SAJE/JEN members presenting, volunteering and/or performing included: NIC CARTER, MARK DUBY, DIANE ROSSI, MIKE CAMPBELL, CAROL MARTIN with Sisters in Sound, MISO MARKOVINA, and KESIVAN NAIDOO. SAJE has been the first international affiliate to join JEN and we hope to see many other countries follow as we have members from 16 countries thus far. SAJE/JEN member RASHID LOMBARD’s Cape Town Jazz Festival featuring George Benson, Bad Plus, Regina Carter, Judith Sephuma, Tete Mbambisa, Toots Thielemans, Sammy Hartman, Delft Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Ian Smith and many others was the grand gathering of jazz as promised and was attended by thousands of jazz fans. Put this one on your calendar for 2012, it is a “not to be missed event!”

University of the Arts RICK LAWN in Philadephia invites the creative and entrepreneurial community to enter our Gigabit Challenge. It is an invitation with no strings attached, and the $10,000 prize is to go to the best idea presented that takes advantage of the high-speed fiber optic networks now being developed by companies like Google. The purpose is to encourage the creative spirit and the entrepreneurial reach of communities and especially to engage students and faculty in creative programs. All one needs to do is think about the ways a high-speed pipe can help your art, your medium, and your community, and then send them on. For more info about the challenge, go to

The 10th Anniversary of the Brubeck Institute (Institution Partner) was just celebrated April 8-11 at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. In addition to the fest, The Brubeck Collection is archived there and includes thousands of letters, photos, concert programs and reviews, scores, recordings that document Dave and Iola’s lives from 1920 to the present. STEVE ANDERSON (CA), Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute coordinated a high quality jazz festival that featured the 2007 and 2009 Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintets with guest artists BOB MINTZER (CA), JOE GILMAN (artistic director), CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE, TAYLOR EIGSTI, and YOSVANY TERRY. A symposium entitled “Jazz Goes to School!” featured DR. DAVID BAKER (IN), JB DYAS (CA), BART MARANTZ, HARRY SCHNIPPR, CHUCK TUMLINSON (CA) and MJ PAPICH (IL). JEN welcomes the impressively talented and creative 2009 BIJQ to the JEN Conference in St. Louis. As President Obama said December 6th at the White House, “You can’t understand America without understanding jazz. And you can’t understand jazz, without understanding Dave Brubeck.” Congratulations on celebrating a decade of accomplishments, Brubeck Institute!

The NAMM Foundation today announced that it is once again inviting music educators to attend “Music Education Days” being held this summer during the 2010 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tenn., the music products industry’s mid-year gathering from June 18-20, 2010. Registered teachers may attend special sessions planned just for them and also visit the impressive NAMM SHOW to see the latest the industry has to offer. Music Education Days events will also provide teachers an opportunity to interact with each other and industry professionals, and address mutual concerns about access to music education for all children. “As part of NAMM’s ongoing commitment to music teachers and music education, we extend a warm invitation to all music teachers to join us at Summer NAMM” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “NAMM opens its doors to these music educators at the Summer NAMM Show and encourages them to explore the instruments and musical products that could make a big difference in the lives and education for children and young people. ” If you would like to attend please register before June 1, 2010 at

This summer, SFJAZZ Education (Institution Partner) is hosting three free workshops in the Bay Area for high-school jazz students. Each workshop will focus on key jazz skills, including improvisation, sight reading, rhythm, jazz theory and much more. In addition, our final summer workshop focuses on the audition process, teaching students how to prepare, practice and present music during auditions. Led by international jazz educator and SFJAZZ High School All-Stars director PAUL CONTOS, students are sure to get a lot out of these exciting workshops. Workshop One is Saturday, July 10, 10AM-2:00PM, Head-Royce School. Workshop Two is Saturday, July 17, 10AM-2PM, Oakland Technical High School. The Audition Skills Workshop is Saturday, August 14, 10AM-2PM, Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. For more information, please email

DR. ZVONIMIR TOT had his talented University of Illinois at Chicago students (Rajiv Orozco, Hans Luchs, Andrew Vogt) perform at the UIC booth next to JEN at the IMEA Conference in Peoria! -Great idea…live jazz to attract attendees to their booth and JEN!

The Monterey Jazz Festival is proud to announce the results of the 6th Annual Next Generation Jazz Festival held April 9-11, incorporating MJF’s 40th Annual National High School Jazz Competition. A full list can be found on the Festival’s web page

The results by category are: In the High School Big Band category, top honors went to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, directed by JASON GOLDMAN. The runner-up was Rio Americano High School AM, directed by JOSH MURRAY. Third place went to Folsom California High School Jazz Band 1, directed by CURTIS GAESSER. In the High School Combo category, top honors went to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts G, directed by JASON GOLDMAN.

In the High School Vocal Ensemble category, top honors went to Folsom High School Jazz Choir I, directed by Curtis Gaesser. Second place went to Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, directed by PAT BASS. In the College Big Band category, top honors went to California State University, Northridge CA, directed by MATT HARRIS. In the College Vocal Ensemble category, top honors went to Mt. San Antonio College “Singcopation”, directed by BRUCE ROGERS. In the Conglomerate category, top honors went to the Jazzschool Monday Night Studio Band from Berkley, directed by KEITH JOHNSON. In the Open Combo Division, top honors went to California State University, Northridge 1, directed by Matt Harris. All these groups will perform at the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September 17-19, presented by Verizon.

MIKE BLANCHARD of Illinois reports of an exciting development in Quito, Equador at the Cotopaxi School under the direction of Marvin “Doc” Holladay. Mike, who teaches privately at Niles West High School for BILL KOCH (IL) has been traveling to Equador for the past several years to assist Doc in opening the Dizzy Gillespie School of Jazz. Doc is 81 and is still going strong. The school’s philosophy will be strongly based on pros mentoring the younger students.

The INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN JAZZ PRESENTed their 4th IWJ Festival in New York City at St. Peter’s Church at Lexington Ave E. 54th St APRIL 18, 23 24, 2010. Guest artists included: KARRIN ALLYSON, KAREN RODRIQUEZ, TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI, and the JAN LEDER QUARTET. International Women in Jazz, Inc. (IWJ) is a non-profit organization [501(c)3] committed to supporting women jazz artists and professionals and to foster a greater awareness of the diverse contributions women make to jazz worldwide. For more info contact

Guitaritst GREG PASCHENKO and his violinist wife DIANE DELIN have opened a new jazz club in Chicago called Club Blujazz at 1540 W. North Avenue. They are featuring top name jazzers with JOE LOCKE on June 4th and 5th and the DENNY ZEITLIN (CA) Trio on June 11 and 12. If you visit Chicago this summer, be sure and visit Club Blujazz, sure to become a local favorite!

Vocalists—sing your heart out this summer! Board member PARIS RUTHERFORD (TX) is hosting a Vocal Jazz Camp this summer at North Texas State in Denton June 20-25. Contact for details. Vocalists get to work with JENNIFER BARNES (CA), ROSANNA ECKERT (TX) and Paris!

The 23rd JANICE BORLA (IL) Vocal Jazz Camp is July 18-23 at North Central College in Naperville, outside of Chicago. Contact for details.

Music For All’s Summer Symposium at Illinois State University, sponsored by Yamaha, will be held June 21-26. The Jazz Division is produced by MFA and JEN and features artist faculty including: NDUGU CHANCLER (CA)

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