2014 State of Jazz Composition Symposium

A Five-Day Symposium and Concert Series

The 2014 symposium hosted visiting artists Terence Blanchard, Maria Schneider, Billy Childs, Geri Allen, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Patrice Rushen, and others. The event included panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and concerts.

Watch panel discussion excerpts with Blanchard, Childs, Rushen, and Schneider:

Read a Boston Globe feature article about the symposium.


Events from the 2014 Symposium

Browse a list of archived events from the 2014 symposium. 

Writing for Strings with Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Vijay Iyer, and Patrice Rushen

Tuesday / April 22, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

The American Composers Orchestra, in collaboration with the Berklee Jazz Composition Department, presents this panel discussion and workshop geared toward students who seek a greater understanding of the nuances of string writing in a jazz context. Panelists include Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Vijay Iyer, and Patrice Rushen.

Admission: Free

"Outside the Box" with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Terence Blanchard, Danilo Perez, Vijay Iyer, and Joanne Brackeen

Tuesday / April 22, 2014 / 2:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Hosted by Berklee alumna and Revive Music founder Meghan Stabile, this panel will focus on breaking free of perceived constraints in approaching jazz, and what that means from an artistic and industry perspective.

Admission: Free

The Biological Foundations of Music: Embodied Cognition, Empathy, and Listening

Tuesday / April 22, 2014 / 4:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Vijay Iyer is at the forefront of an emerging field of research in music: the study of embodied cognition. He received his doctorate in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches at Harvard University.

Admission: Free

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute Presents: Creativity and Expression in the Arts, an Interactive Composition Workshop with Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, and Anthony Scibilia

Tuesday / April 22, 2014 / 6:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

In this workshop, students from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute will perform and present their compositions to BGJI faculty members Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, and Anthony Scibilia and receive their feedback in front of the audience.

Admission: Free

Best of Jazz Composition: Spring 2014

Tuesday / April 22, 2014 / 7:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215

A selection of the best works by jazz composition majors in the spring semester.

Admission: free

Dave Fiuczynski's Planet MicroJam with Special Guest Rudresh Mahanthappa

Tuesday / April 22, 2014 / 8:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Professor David Fiuczynski will perform microtonal "grooveJamz" with the Planet MicroJam Institute ensemble.

Admission: Free

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) Presents Danilo Perez

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 10:00 a.m.
Fordham Road Studio
25 Fordham Road, Allston, MA, 02134

A hands-on music laboratory focusing on the historic and creative development of global jazz, from Africa to Europe and the Americas.

Admission: Free

Jazz in Film, with George S. Clinton, Terence Blanchard, and Billy Childs

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 1:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

George S. Clinton, noted film composer and chair of Berklee's Film Scoring Department, will moderate this discussion of the role and development of jazz in film. Panelists will include Terence Blanchard and Billy Childs.

Admission: Free

Microtonal Research with Dave Fiuczynski

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 4:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

David Fiuczynski's FLAM! Pan-Asian MicroJam for J Dilla and Olivier Messiaen is the result of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship. This composition incorporates microtonal birdsong-based melodies, J Dilla-inspired hip-hop beats, and traditional Chinese, Indian, and Turkish melodic and rhythmic elements.

Admission: Free

Master Class: Terence Blanchard and the Jazz Composition Workshop Ensemble

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 4:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Terence Blanchard presents a master class with the Jazz Composition Workshop Ensemble.

Admission: Free

Jazz Composition Ensemble with Vijay Iyer and Billy Childs

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 6:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

Pianists and composers Vijay Iyer and Billy Childs will critique the works of some of Berklee's finest jazz composers.

Admission: Free

Rudresh Mahanthappa

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 7:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, an 1992 Berklee alumnus, has frequently been listed in DownBeat's Critics Poll since 2003. He will present a concert of his works with Berklee students.

Admission: Free

Vijay Iyer

Wednesday / April 23, 2014 / 9:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today."

Admission: Free

What Does the Future Hold? with Don Was, Terri Lyne Carrington, Maria Schneider, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Patrice Rushen, and Geri Allen

Thursday / April 24, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

A student-led discussion of the future of jazz is presented by the Jazz Collective, a Berklee student organization. This panel will field questions from Berklee students on what they see coming around the corner for future jazz artists.

Admission: Free

The Music of Geri Allen

Thursday / April 24, 2014 / 2:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

Pianist and composer Geri Allen will receive an honorary doctorate from Berklee this May. Here, this celebrated artist will take us on a journey inside her musical ideas.

Admission: Free

Inside the Music of Maria Schneider

Thursday / April 24, 2014 / 4:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

Maria Schneider will present her works from her own artistic perspective. The workshop will focus on her creative processes, ensemble techniques, and impetus behind chosen works that she will present.

Admission: Free

State of Jazz Keynote Address: Don Was

Thursday / April 24, 2014 / 7:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Don Was is the president of Blue Note Records, the largest and oldest jazz record label. Blue Note boasts a "who's who" of jazz greats on its roster.

Admission: Free

Billy Childs

Thursday / April 24, 2014 / 8:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115

Award-winning pianist and composer Billy Childs leads a quartet in performance of some of his small ensemble compositions. Childs is the recipient of a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and has earned three Grammy awards and ten Grammy nominations.

Admission: Free

Patrice Rushen

Thursday / April 24, 2014 / 9:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

Pianist and composer Patrice Rushen is a regular on the Berklee scene. This concert will offer a look at her compositions, and will afford us the opportunity to see Patrice's work from a variety of angles.

Admission: Free

The Future of Large Ensembles, with Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Patrice Rushen, and Maria Schneider

Friday / April 25, 2014 / 1:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

This panel will discuss the current realities and future of jazz composition for large ensembles.

Admission: Free

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