The AZ Jazz Academy: Onward And Upward
In spite of the many obstacles it has encountered, the Academy continues to move forward, and Tidaback's passion for the music and the young musicians who come there to learn is contagious. At a time when it's easy to despair about the future of jazz, the Arizona Jazz Academy provides an oasis of hope in a largely barren desertwhich is entirely appropriate, as Tidaback, his staff and students have led a nomadic life to this point. Should they ever find a more permanent place to call home, there's no telling how far they may go.
Ulman Steps Aside at NMJW
Speaking of Ed Ulman, as I was a few paragraphs ago, he has resigned after five years as executive director of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop to take a position at a local public television station in Albuquerque, and the Workshop is seeking a replacement. Applications are being accepted through December 6.
Here are some details from the group's web site: "The NMJW desires candidates with a visible, vested long-term interest in jazz, blues, salsa, and Latin jazz with the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with area arts organizations and with the support of a volunteer board of directors. Qualified applicants must have: at least two years experience in a management position with a non-profit, government entity, or business; bachelor's degree or equivalent; M.A. desired; strong oral and written communication skills; computer skills. Successful candidates will possess a track record of proven leadership, with skills in personnel and time management, annual budgeting and finance, public relations, advocacy, and entrepreneurship, experience in programming, strategic planning, and successful fund-raising. Evidence of expertise in managing a non-profit organization and examples of collaboration with culturally diverse individuals and organizations should be indicated in the application materials. Annual salary: $45,000+ depending on experience and qualifications. Compensation package includes medical benefits.
To apply, candidates should send a detailed résumé, references and cover letter by Dec. 6, 2006 to: Search Committee, New Mexico Jazz Workshop, 5500 Lomas Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110. (Electronic applications will be accepted at email@example.com).
A final reminder that the 34th annual Conference of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) will be held January 10-13 at the New York Sheraton and Hilton hotels. More than 8,000 educators, musicians, industry executives, media and students from 45 countries are expected to attend. If you've never attended an IAJE conference, it's hard to describe in words what you've been missing. It's a great four days, filled with music, lectures, clinics, audio-visual presentations and a 75,000-square-foot exhibit hall that must be seen to be believed.
As always, there'll be awards toothe President's Award to French composer Michel Legrand; the NEA Jazz Masters Awards to Toshiko Akiyoshi, Curtis Fuller, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy Scott, Frank Wess and Phil Woods; the IFO International Jazz Award for New Talent to Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick, and a special award for Jazz Advocacy to Dan Morgenstern, among others.
Of course, the music's the drawing card, and this year's performers are a rich and diverse group from big bands to combos, traditional to avant-garde. Big bands include Finland's UMO, the Air Force Falconaires, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, NewYorkestra, the Henry Mancini Institute Big Band, ensembles led by Charles Tolliver, John Fedchock and John Hollenbeck, plus the usual number of high school and college bands.
The first Jazz Arranging Competition sponsored by the University of South Florida in Tampa is a tribute to Michael Brecker. The university's Center for Jazz Composition welcomes submissions of scores for big band from composers of all nationalities. Submissions may be made in either of two categories: Open (no age restrictions) or Young Artist (30 years of age or younger as of June 1, 2007). Submissions must be received by February 23, 2007. Winning selections will be premiered by Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge in three concerts dedicated to the works of Michael Brecker in April 2007.