The International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) presents its 26th annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts at Berklee College of Music from June 25 to July 1, 2016. The meeting will include over 100 participants including students, teachers and representatives from approximately 40 colleges and universities from all parts of the globe including Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom and the United States.
Over the course of the week, 60 or so students, all of the highest caliber and carefully selected by their schools, will be split into ensembles that will rehearse daily in preparation for final concerts held on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1 at 8:30 PM. In addition, attendees will participate in jam sessions at held at Berklee and Wally’s Jazz Cafe.
There will be an opening concert featuring Artistic Director Dave Liebman with pianist Kenny Werner, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti held on Saturday, June 25 at 8:00 PM. On Sunday, June 26, the Teachers Concert, featuring top jazz educators from participating universities, will commence at 8:30 PM. All concerts will be held at the Boston Conservatory Theater located at 51 Hemenway Street. Admission is free to all events.
Founded in 1989 by NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, the IASJ is considered the “United Nations of Jazz”. The IASJ is built on the timeless ideal of promoting brotherhood and peace across cultural and geographical borders using the common language of jazz. “My goal was to bring students together from everywhere to play, interact and hopefully form lasting relationships and associations that would promote positive cross cultural communication,” says Liebman, adding “…Everyone who is learning an art form like jazz is learning the same material, though it may be presented in different languages. I mean Miles is Miles and Duke is Duke no matter where you are or how you say it. The music is truly universal.” Together with Chairman Wouter Turkenburg of the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Liebman has connected over 3000 students, teachers and representatives from all six continents.
The IASJ is hosted by a different school each year. Recent meetings have taken place at the Hot Club and Universidades Lusíada de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal (2015), South Africa College of Music in Cape Town, South Africa (2o14), the Royal Music Conservatory in Arhus, Denmark (2013), the Jazz Institute of the Graz University of the Arts, Graz, Austria (2012) and Souza Lima Conservatory in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2011). Berklee last hosted the IASJ in 2001.