I recently returned from the International Association for Jazz Education annual conference, which was held in Toronto this year. It’s the most important and best-attended conference in the jazz world. Over 6,000 people attended, and Centrum had a booth representing the Jazz Port Townsend. As always, there were many outstanding performances by top musicians, and as always I was pleased and proud to note that many of them are or have been on our faculty! These included Carl Allen, Chuck Deardorf, Paquito D’Rivera, Dee Daniels, Kurt Elling, Ingrid Jensen, Kristin Korb, Bill Mays, Kim Nazarian, Sachal Vasandani, Jon Wikan and Matt Wilson. Jovino Santos Neto and Mark Ivester have also taught at Centrum in a weekend Brazilian music workshop and were there as well. It was fun to watch people walking by the Centrum booth doing double and triple takes when they saw the list of this summer’s faculty, and to answer their enthusiastic questions.
Besides hearing lots of great music, it’s inspiring to hear some of the best student players coming up these days. Their talent and enthusiasm run deep. Those of you who have attended the past two years know that we’ve made a special commitment to provide scholarships to talented young people of color. It was especially valuable for me to hear a number of excellent candidates, and I’ll be contacting them to encourage them to apply.
All in all it was great to be there, and definitely worth the trip. I hope you’re all planning to apply and attend our workshop this summer July 20-27. Stay in touch!