Exchanging ideas to nurture and grow the jazz community
Jazz at Lincoln Center and JazzTimes have joined forces to co-produce the Jazz Congress, an annual conference designed to bring together artists, media and industry leaders in the global jazz community to exchange ideas in order to nurture and grow the jazz community and the underlying business and organizations that promote, produce, present, market and support the music.
“Jazz at Lincoln Center is excited to host this much needed community initiative. We will stimulate an inclusive environment, explore new ways to expand audiences for our music, and learn from one another,” said Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center. “With so much discordant non communication around the world and in our country, now is the perfect time for us to come together for serious discourse around and about our cultural, business and aesthetic objectives. Jazz has what our modern world needs. Let us all take pride in our collective advocacy of this great music by identifying, declaring and demonstrating our common ground.”
JazzTimes has been organizing confabs for the jazz industry since 1979, when it first hosted the Radio Free Jazz Convention, later the JazzTimes Convention, which was held until 1998. Beginning in 2000, JazzTimes partnered with the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) to create the Industry Track as part of that organization’s annual conference. After IAJE folded in 2009, the magazine created a DIY Crash Course at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference in 2011. Working with a consortium of organizations and individuals, the Jazz Connect Conference followed in 2012 and took place as a pre-conference at the APAP conference for the three years. The conference moved as a stand-alone event to Saint Peter’s Church in 2015, where it was held for the next three years, presented with the Jazz Forward Coalition.
“We are excited by the opportunity to create an event that will expand the involvement of both the U.S. and international jazz scene,” said Lee Mergner, Publisher of JazzTimes. “We remain committed to celebrating the diversity of the jazz community, with many organizations welcome to participate as strategic partners and sponsors.”
A discussion for and about jazz musicians who integrate or expand into other genres of music, while remaining under the jazz umbrella.
Moderator: Brandee Younger
Panelists: Terri Lyne Carrington, Donny McCaslin, Meshell Ndegeocello, Aaron Parks
Boricua Jazz: Lost in Translation
Puerto Rican musicians on the island and in the states have been an integral part of jazz from the beginning, but with infrequent exceptions, their contributions and identities have been marginalized, misconstrued or overlooked. Through the lens of their experiences as working musicians and storm survivors, multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator William Cepeda and others will propose a narrative that presents Puerto Rican artists as extraordinary musicians, innovators, and leaders in their own right.
Moderator: Thomas Pena
Panelists: Wiliam Cepeda, Author Basilio Serrano, Gargi Shinde
Case Studies: Record Marketing
Hear from three jazz marketing leaders on successful album launches and all that went into making them happen. Short individual presentations will be followed by Q&A.
Moderator: Ashley Kahn
Panelists: Ken Druker, Nate Smith, Robin Tomchin
Celebrating Randy Weston
With his September 1, 2018 passing the jazz world lost a truly singular pianist-composer-bandleader and endless seeker of the African essence of music and spirituality. This panel will discuss the unprecedented African Rhythms legacy of this NEA Jazz Master, who in his own words came to be a storyteller, a quest he achieved through a vast sphere of influences ranging from his Brooklyn homeboy Max Roach, to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, to mystical Sufi masters and global scholars.
Moderator: Willard Jenkins
Panelists: Hisham Aidi, T.K. Blue, Gail Boyd, Min Xaio-Fen
Copyright and Licensing: Rules of the Road
Master rights, mechanicals, compulsory, sync, and public performance licenses. What do these terms mean and why do they matter? Whether you are an artist, a label, or an organization using music in a video you “just” want post to Facebook, you need to know the basics of copyright law and licensing terms and concepts. Join music industry attorneys and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s in-house legal team for a conversation to set the record straight.
Moderator: Lisa Davis
Panelists: Brittany Berckes, Marcus Moore, Stuart Silfen
Creating Safe(r) Spaces in the Performing Arts: A We Have Voice Collective Roundtable Discussion
In this roundtable discussion, members of the We Have Voice Collective will speak about the Collective’s formation, its Open Letter, the WHV Code of Conduct, and further future initiatives. The panelists will hold a space for ample dialog with the audience members around the issues at the center of the Collective’s mission and activity, developing an understanding of and working toward equity and the creation of safe(r) spaces in the performing arts.
Moderator: Aja Burrell Wood
Panelists: Tamar Sella, Sara Serpa, Jen Shyu, Imani Uzuri
Creative Music Studio™ Workshop
The Creative Music Studio™ engages musicians and listeners from all backgrounds to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression and understanding through workshops, recordings and concerts worldwide. Co-artistic directors Steven Bernstein and Billy Martin will discuss the history of CMS and the importance of carrying this legacy into the 21st century. They will also offer performance workshop demonstrations and discuss the challenges of running a non profit foundation that present workshops on improvising, composing and unique musical strategies.
Founded in 1971 by Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman, and Ingrid Sertso, Creative Music Studio™, pursues its mission through workshops, residencies, concert performances, recordings, and oral history and archival projects in the USA and around the world.
Moderator: Bill Milkowski
Panelists: Steven Bernstein, Billy Martin
Electric Miles Revisited Presented by the Miles Davis Estate
Members of Miles Davis’ ‘70s electric bands talk about the music of that often-overlooked period.
Moderator: Mark Ruffin
Panelists: Gary Bartz, Al Foster, Michael Henderson, Dave Liebman, Mtume, Wallace Roney, Lenny White, Vince Wilburn, Jr.
Funding for Jazz
Revenue sources for jazz are as broad as other art forms and can vary from public funding, foundations, corporations, individuals and earned income support. Funders and organizations talk about effective tactics, tools and practices that organizations have utilized to raise money for jazz.
Moderator: Sunny Sumter
Panelists: Sara Donnelly, Maurine Knighton, Katja von Schuttenbach
Growing Your Fanbase Through Social
Social media has become a dominant force when it comes to building an audience for your music. Some veterans of the various platforms share the latest and greatest tips for effectively using social media.
Moderator: Matt Jurasek
Panelists: Camille Bertault, Luigi Beverelli, Haley Brawner, Alex Hines
How Do You Get On the Road?
For most jazz artists, getting booked outside their hometown or local community can be a real challenge. Musicians who have successfully managed to book themselves at clubs, venues and festivals all over the world discuss the secrets to their success.
Moderator: Giovanni Russonello
Panelists: Emmet Cohen, Marquis Hill, Helen Sung, Matt Wilson
Institutions in Transition: Newport Jazz Festival
George Wein produced his first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 at age 28. Today, as part of the non-profit Newport Festivals Foundation, the jazz festival continues in stride alongside its folk counterpart, under the leadership of Jay Sweet and Artistic Director Christian McBride. George has said his motivation in his ninth decade of life is to see the festivals flourish beyond him. In this conversation, he’ll share the stage with Jay and Christian and discuss leadership transitions, succession planning, and how the brand he established 65 years ago not only endures, but flourishes.
Moderator: Jason Olaine
Panelists: Christian McBride, Jay Sweet, George Wein
International Performance and Touring Opportunities
Presenters and agents discuss the ways and means for jazz artists and groups to perform and tour in Europe and Asia.
Moderator: Karen Kennedy
Panelists: In Jae Jin, Katharine McVicker, Fritz Thom, Noah Simon
Jazz Between the Coasts
Presenters in secondary U.S. markets discuss the challenges and rewards of audience development and programming.
Moderator: Gene Dobbs Bradford
Panelists: Robert Ginsburg, Aaron Greenwald, Terri Pontremoli, Jon Poses
Jazz Down Under: Spotlight on Australia
Jazz professionals discuss the current state of jazz in the world’s sixth largest country in anticipation of International Jazz Day.
Moderator: Wulf Muller
Panelists: Paul Grabowksy, Jennifer Kerr, Chelsea Wilson
Jazz Education Online
The rapid pace of technological innovation along with widespread adoption of social media and smartphones have dramatically changed how and where learning happens today. How are jazz educators taking advantage of these shifts? What are the benefits and challenges of student-teacher relationships mediated by screens? Leaders in online jazz education share their experiences.
Moderator: Seton Hawkins
Panelists: Stefon Harris, Peter Martin, Amanda Monaco
Jazz Entrepreneurship: Online Strategies, Offline Results
3 presenters will talk about their entrepreneurial ventures: what’s been successful, what’s worked, and what hasn’t. Short individual presentations will be followed by Q&A.
Moderator: Ashley Kahn
Panelists: Marc Plotkin, Meghan Stabile, Spike Wilner
Jazz in Troubled Times
How does jazz speak to the tumult of today? Can a song change a mind? Is improvisation a political act? A frank discussion about what musicians can communicate in the face of social and political unrest, and how these times affect the course of and context for our culture.
Moderator: Larry Blumenfeld
Panelists: Vijay Iyer, Rene Marie, Arturo O’Farrill
Jazz Industry 101
Whether you are just starting your career, or are a veteran looking to take a deeper dive, this session will talk you through the major facets of the industry, from labels to festivals, agents to radio promoters and more.
Panelists: Raynel Frazier, Georgina Javor
Jazz Radio in 2019 and Beyond: Staying Relevant – Presented by JazzWeek
As radio in general faces competition from streaming and on-demand services, podcasting, online video, and social media for attention, so also does jazz radio. Yet each week, millions of people nationwide — including 900,000 in New York and Los Angeles — tune into jazz stations over the air and online. What is the impact of jazz radio airplay for an artist? How is jazz radio expanding its reach and relevance via streaming, video, podcasting, and social media? A panel of innovative jazz radio managers and hosts examines the influence radio airplay still has and why exposure on radio remains important for artists and labels.
Moderator: Ed Trefzger
Panelists: Arturo Gomez, Derrick Lucas, Joni Lupovitz, Michael Riksen, Kayonne Riley
Jazz, Swing, Race and Culture
Considering swing as a rhythm or swing as a feeling or a verb, what are the social, cultural, and racial factors that affect individuals’ perception, acceptance or rejection of the concept? Player and thinkers ponder what swing means in 2019.
Moderator: Andre Guess
Panelists: Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Myra Melford, Nicholas Payton
JukeBox Jury Presented by JazzWeek
Many new releases are a slam dunk at jazz radio: down-the-middle post bop, high-profile vocalists, or the latest reissue or “lost” recording. But what about artists and recordings that exist along the fringe or push the envelope? How do radio stations decide what music gets on the air? A panel of radio programmers will preview music ranging from the mainstream to the adventurous, and will detail why or why not each track would work on jazz radio.
Moderators: Brad Stone and J Hunter
Panelists: Elizabeth A. Farriss, Willard Jenkins, Michael Valentine, Gary Vercelli
Louis Armstrong: A Music and Civil Rights Pioneer
A presentation of Louis’ contributions to music and civil rights in our society.
Moderator: John Crocken
Panelists: Dan Morgenstern, David Ostwald, Ricky Riccardi, Byron Stripling
Making Space in Jazz for Transgender Voices
Join transgender and gender fluid artists and an ally for an open conversation about acceptance, support, and challenges to diverse voices. Transgender artists have been present in jazz for decades; has the jazz community evolved in its openness to transgender and gender fluid artists? We will listen to and honor voices and stories often suppressed in this and other communities and explore the concept of being allies.
Moderator: Katie Simon
Panelists: Jennifer Leitham, Riley Mulherkar, Chloe Rowlands
What exactly are the responsibilities of a qualified manager and what can an aspiring manager expect from the role? What does a healthy artist/manager relationship look like? And when exactly do you need a manager? Experienced managers in an open and frank talk about the business today and why you probably don’t need to hire them.
Moderator: Karen Kennedy
Panelists: Gail Boyd, Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski, Darryl Pitt
Musical Inspiration is Everywhere
Saxophonist and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member Ted Nash demonstrates how to find inspiration in the sounds around us – from a horn honking to a bird singing to a former President speaking – and how to carry that inspiration forward into the writing and recording of a project.
Panelists: Ted Nash, Dan Nimmer
Perfect Pitch: The $1,000 Marketing Plan Challenge
Independent artists are invited onstage to present a marketing plan for an upcoming release, performance, or tour before our esteemed panel of judges. One winning presenter will be awarded $1,000 to implement their plan. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO PRESENT. More information coming soon.
Moderator: Aaron Bisman
Panelists: Meghan Stabile, Denny Stilwell
Perfect Pitch: Will This Press Kit Get Me Booked?
Independent artists are invited to submit their press kit or EPK to our panel of judges for a live review. Beyond personal feedback, the session will leverage these real life examples to highlight best practices and opportunities for artists to best represent themselves through their bios, press releases, photos, videos, press clips, etc. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED IF YOU WISH TO HAVE YOUR MATERIALS REVIEWED. More information to come.
Moderator: Katie Simon
Panelists: Bobby D. Asher, Janis Burley Wilson, Georgina Javor
Presenting Jazz on the West Coast
All too often jazz from NYC and the East Coast gets all the attention from media and the industry. However, the West Coast has a long and strong tradition of presenting jazz going back to the Lighthouse in the 50s. This panel of West Coast festival and concert organizers will discuss the challenges and rewards of presenting jazz in markets of all sizes.
Moderator: Tim Jackson
Panelists: Darlene Chan, Michael Eldridge, Robert Rainbow, Lilly Schwartz
State of Jazz Record Labels
With label relaunches, increased release schedules, aggressive new signings and a seemingly increased investment from labels in jazz over the last year, what are these businesses’ visions for the future of recorded jazz?
Moderator: Lauren Onkey
Panelists: Jana Herzen, Denny Stilwell
Strategic Partnership in Practice: Jazz Night in America
What does an effective strategic partnership look like? How is it created and what does it take to maintain it? What value does each individual partner see in such a relationship and what can the jazz community learn from this unique partnership between NPR Music, WBGO, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Panelists: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann, Amy Niles
The Importance of Artist Credits in the Digital Age
The panel will cover the latest developments, practices and industry impact of the modernization of music crediting. Attendees will leave the panel with insights they can implement daily and an understanding of how to properly collect, publish and view credits in the modern age.
Moderator: Lauren Onkey
Panelists: Chandler R. Bridges, Melanie Edwards, Carlos Handy, Gebre Waddell
University as Jazz Training Ground
Colleges and universities are working hard to create programs that not only feature top level professional jazz musicians, but also aim to produce them. A panel of musician educators talk about how universities have become a critical training ground for jazz artists and how it has impacted the music.
Moderator: Rodney Whitaker
Panelists: Stefon Harris, Victor Goines, Susan Muscarella, Terell Stafford
What’s Next? An Early Career Toolkit
Young, working musicians share their keys to success for those entering the freelance jazz world. Creating a market for yourself and your skills is hugely important. A discussion of options and avenues in the worlds of performance, education, composition, technology, recording, producing, marketing, networking, and more. In the ever-changing world of technology and independent music, it is necessary now more than ever to put your best foot forward and define your goals and strengths. The question is: How can one supplement their college music education to ensure that they are well-rounded, relevant, and ready for the real world?
Moderator: Jake Cohen
Panelists: Nick Finzer, Brandon Lee, Alexa Tarantino
What’s that Sound? An Audio Recording Masterclass
You’ve decided to record your latest album yourself. What are the equipment, tools and skills that you need to make it work? Experienced recording engineers share some of their tricks of the trade.
Moderator: Al Pryor
Panelists: Magda Giannikou, Todd Whitelock
Women Big Band Leaders Roundtable: Presented by The National Endowment for the Arts
NEA Jazz Masters and other leading musicians discuss the challenges and opportunities of running, and composing for, large ensembles.
Moderator: Ann Meier Baker
Panelists: Toshiko Akiyoshi, Miho Hazama, Sherrie Maricle, Maria Schneider
Workshop: Making Engaging Videos
Thanks in part to social media and mobile technology, video has become one of the most important media platforms for artists at every level. This workshop explains how to cost-effectively make compelling videos that will move the needle.
Moderator: Eugenia Han
Panelists: Bryan Carter, Niki Walker, Grace Kelly
Your Digital Marketing Priorities
Having a presence digitally means more than just having a website. Molly Garber of digital marketing firm Capacity Interactive, which counts Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall as clients, shares five core priorities and how you can tackle them successfully, even with limited time and money.
Moderator: Aaron Bisman
Panelists: Molly Garber