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Abdul-Jabbar Named Keynote Speaker for Forst Annual Jazz Congress

Jazzed Magazine • News • December 27, 2017

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Jazz Congress, a new annual conference organized by JazzTimes and Jazz at Lincoln Center, has announced NBA all-time leading scorer, New York Times-bestselling author, and U.S. cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the keynote speaker for its first annual Jazz Congress. This will take place on Thursday, January 11 at 12:15 p.m. in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Appel Room.

For this keynote address, Abdul-Jabbar will explore the role jazz can and should play in a moment that is challenging politically, socially, and culturally. A global icon that changed the game of professional basketball, Abdul-Jabbar has become a celebrated and bestselling author, filmmaker, ambassador of education, and columnist for the Guardian newspaper and Time magazine. A sought-after speaker, he recounts in riveting and humorous detail his exciting evolution from street ball player to successful athlete, author, producer, and community activist.

Jazz Congress will bring together artists, media and industry leaders from the global jazz community to exchange ideas and resources. Panels, workshops, meetings and performances will be held on January 11 and 12, 2018 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, located at Broadway at 60th Street, New York, New York, and will address topics including “Jazz and Race,” “New Models of Jazz Education,” “Gender and Jazz,” “Why Performance Matters:  Stagecraft Masterclass,” “Building Partnerships in Secondary Markets,” and more. Panelists, moderators and speakers include artists such as Terence Blanchard, Aaron Goldberg, Ingrid Jensen, Kenny Barron, Ethan Iverson, Rene Marie, Wynton Marsalis, Catherine Russell, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Nate Smith and Matt Wilson, as well as various industry professionals.

The Jazz Congress will present drummer/bandleader/producer/advocate/educator Terri Lyne Carrington with the Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award. The annual award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and vision in expanding the audience for jazz and who has made a real difference for the artists, the music and the audience.

For a complete schedule and more information, visit

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