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June IASJ Meeting Brings 100 International Musicians to Berklee

Over 100 students and faculty members from 35 jazz schools in 21 different countries converged at Berklee June 17 to 24 for the 12th annual meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ).

In 1989, jazz saxophonist, educator, and IASJ Artistic Director David Liebman founded the IASJ in an effort to keep jazz music alive and to create a camaraderie among jazz professionals and students from various parts of the world. Each of the participating schools selected their most promising students to participate in the week-long activities, giving them the opportunity to meet new musicians and receive coaching from an international group of top jazz educators.

This year's event placed students in ensembles where they worked together for a week to prepare for a final concert. Additionally, each student ensemble was given studio time so all participants could bring home a CD documenting what they accomplished together.

The full schedule of educational opportunities included lectures, recording seminars, ensemble coaching, and performances at various locations around the Berklee campus. The theme for this year's meeting was music technology. Berklee was selected to be the host site primarily because of its extensive music technology and recording facilities.

"This year's meeting of the IASJ was special because of the wonderful facilities and faculty available to us at Berklee,” said Liebman. "Besides the jam sessions, performances by both teacher and student ensembles, pedagogical meetings, and the like, we had some very interesting lectures by vibraphonist Gary Burton, ear- training specialist Steve Prosser, trumpeter Tiger Okoshi, and several members of the MP&E Department faculty.

"We were able to record each of our ensembles and give concerts at the Berklee Performance Center. For those who came from far away, it was really special to be at the most famous jazz school in the world. I give my compliments to the staff and people who made this year's meeting at Berklee a success.”

Larry Monroe, Berklee's associate vice president for International Programs, said, "It was a great pleasure to have the IASJ meeting here this year. There were many fine teachers and students who came a long way to attend. I thought it was a great opportunity to let them see how we do things here at Berklee.”

The next IASJ meeting will be in Helsinki Finland, and will be jointly hosted by the Sibelius Academy, the Pop and Jazz Conservatory, and the Helsinki Polytechnic Institute.ing to Berklee in October 2001.