Another victim of global economics? Or of flawed leadership? The 40-year-old International Association for Jazz Education has announced its bankruptcy, following an ill-attended conference in Toronto and unexpected departures by its executive director and president. “Industry of jazz” players are shocked, shocked!
As reported by my friend Paul de Barros, jazz critic of the Seattle Times, the annual IAJE conference, which over the past decade has served as an unrivaled meeting ground for jazz-oriented musicians, students, educators, academic institutions, instrument manufacturers, record companies, festival producers, music and book publishers, print journalists, broadcasters and bloggers will not take place as planned in Seattle in January 2009, will not publish its quarterly journal or follow up on current programs - – in fact will disband entirely, leaving some 8,000 members without platform or representation in a world increasingly marginalizing its mission.
“A bunch of jazz musicians formed this organization and it grew into a multimillion-dollar operation with a huge convention and a big staff and big journal, but it was still run by a volunteer board elected by the membership that met twice a year.”