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2017 International Jazz Composers' Symposium Honors Chick Corea

For two and a half days in the middle of May, prominent jazz composers, musicians, scholars, students, and industry professionals from across the world flocked to Tampa, FL to convene for the first Jazz Composers' Symposium in almost 10 years. Taking place in the University of South Florida School of Music's impressive new building/concert hall located just north of downtown Tampa, the almost 200 conference registrants were afforded an all-too-rare opportunity to connect with fellow jazz composers while engaging with celebrated master artists, becoming exposed to a variety of new music, and discussing related music industry trends.

The event culminated with the ISJAC Board honoring Chick Corea with admission into its first Jazz Composer Hall-of-Fame class (along with posthumous awards to Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams). Upon accepting the award and saying a few words to the audience, Chick invited former bandmate Joe Chambers (Tones for Joan's Bones) to join him on stage for an impromptu performance. Earlier in the evening Chuck Owen and his Jazz Surge (along with special guests Randy Brecker and Gregoire Maret) had captivated the near capacity crowd in attendance with stunning selections from their soon to be released project, "Whispers On the Wind". The Billy Childs Group and John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet delighted conference attendees on prior nights, while award-winning composers such as Maria Schneider, Rufus Reid, & Ryan Truesdell (in addition to Childs and Hollenbeck) offered their thoughts on the composition process as well as the unique challenges the jazz composer of today faces. Bob Thompson (Pres. of G. Shirmer, Node Records, & AMP), Brian Camelio (Pres. of ArtistShare), Gargi Shinde (Jazz Program Director at Chamber Music America), and Pete Barenbregge (Jazz Editor, Alfred Music) addressed these - providing strategies for composers to connect with audiences.

However, in addition to the very distinguished line-up of featured guests, over 65 other composers (from over 30 States & 10 Countries) selected through an international call for scores and papers, presented their work in new music workshops, concerts, and poster sessions. Five composers' works were honored with ISJAC "Sonic Awards". These included: Remy LeBoeuf - "Strata" Ashley Summers - "True North" Scott Routenberg - "Little Rootie Tootie" (Arr.) Cassio Vianna - "Baiao Moderno" Matt Sazima - "Unwound" Opening the Symposium, ISJAC Pres., Chuck Owen, announced the next Jazz Composers' Symposium will take place in May of 2019 in Greeley, Colorado.

ISJAC Consortium Members Hope College Gustavus Adolphus College University of Iowa University of Michigan University of Northern Colorado University of Oregon University of South Florida.




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