2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium

A Five-Day Symposium and Concert Series

The 2016 guest artists included Darcy James ArgueTerence BlanchardBilly ChildsJohn ClaytonAndy Milne, and Samuel Torres.

The 2016 symposium centered around jazz composition and its tradition of innovation, and featured panel discussions, workshops, master classes, listening sessions, and outstanding concerts.

In addition, Berklee's Learning Center hosted the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington: Beyond Category poster exhibit for the duration of the symposium. 


Events from the 2016 Symposium

Browse the list of archived events. 

Symposium Kickoff Event

Tuesday / April 19, 2016 / 12:00 p.m.
Steve Heck Room
1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Register for symposium events, get up-to-date event information, see video of performances by symposium artists, and meet this year's visiting artists.

Admission: Free

Afro-Latin Rhythm and Jazz: Compositional Perspectives

Tuesday / April 19, 2016 / 1:00 p.m.
Berklee Media Center
150 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Virtuosic composer and congero Samuel Torres, Grammy Award–winning composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Guggenheim fellowship recipient and brilliant pianist Billy Childs, and big band innovator Darcy James Argue discuss the significance of Afro-Latin rhythms in their creative process.

Admission: Free

A Listening Session with Samuel Torres

Tuesday / April 19, 2016 / 3:00 p.m.
Eisenson Room

160 Massachusetts Avenue, third floor, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Hear about the world from the perspective of Colombian conguero and composer Samuel Torres, one of the most important composers and arrangers on the Latin jazz scene today.

Admission: Free

Meet and Greet with Darcy James Argue

Tuesday / April 19, 2016 / 5:00 p.m.
Steve Heck Room
1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Come and meet Darcy James Argue, whose Secret Society is one of the hottest large ensembles around.

Admission: Free

Student/Alumni Feature: Nacho Gonzalez Ensemble

Wednesday / April 20, 2016 / 1:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States

In the first student/alumni showcase of the State of Jazz Composition Symposium, guitarist Nacho González will perform a concert of his works featuring Terence Blanchard, the visiting scholar in jazz composition, along with Berklee faculty members George Garzone, Oscar Stagnaro, Bob Pilkington, and Nando Michelin.

Admission: Free

Panel Discussion on Tradition, Innovation, and Social Commentary: Jazz Composition in Context

Wednesday / April 20, 2016 / 2:00 p.m.
Berklee Media Center
150 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

This panel will discuss the interaction among tradition, innovation, and social commentary with panelists Darcy James Argue, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, and John Clayton.

Admission: Free

Listening Session: Darcy James Argue

Wednesday / April 20, 2016 / 3:30 p.m.
Eisenson Room

160 Massachusetts Avenue, third floor, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

This session is a guided journey into the musical world of Darcy James Argue, his influences, and his music.

Admission: Free

The Best of Jazz Composition Concert 2016

Wednesday / April 20, 2016 / 7:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

The Jazz Composition Department hosts a concert of the best and most innovative sounds from jazz composition majors.

Admission: Free

Billy Childs with the Billy Childs Ensemble Directed by Shamie Royston

Wednesday / April 20, 2016 / 9:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

Billy Childs merges his personal background with Western classical music in an ingenious and powerful way. Come hear this eminent composer and pianist perform selected works with an exceptional Berklee student ensemble under the direction of Shamie Royston.

Admission: Free

Symposium Information Event

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 12:00 p.m.
Steve Heck Room
1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Get up-to-date information on symposium events and artists, and see related videos. 

Admission: Free

Technology and Jazz: Is There a Disconnect?

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 1:00 p.m.
Berklee Media Center
150 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

The debate about technology and its role in jazz has been going on for decades. What are the real issues, and what are the paths forward? Our panelists weigh in on the discussion.

Admission: Free

Andy Milne

Listening Session: Andy Milne

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 3:00 p.m.
Eisenson Room

160 Massachusetts Avenue, third floor, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Find out more about pianist and composer Andy Milne and his music.

Admission: Free

Andy Milne

Meet and Greet: Andy Milne

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 5:00 p.m.
Steve Heck Room
1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Don't miss this meet and greet with pianist and composer Andy Milne.

Admission: Free

John Clayton and the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 7:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

Illustrious composer, educator, and bassist John Clayton will appear in a phenomenal and electrifying performance with the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Greg Hopkins.

Admission: Free

Wired for Jazz: An Exploration of Jazz and Electronics Featuring Terence Blanchard and Neil Leonard

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 8:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

Terence Blanchard and Neil Leonard will work with a group of students from Berklee’s Electronic Production and Design and Jazz Composition departments to explore new possibilities for bringing together these rich musical languages. They will then perform what they have explored.

Admission: $8 in advance / $12 day of show

Darcy James Argue with the Rainbow Big Band

Thursday / April 21, 2016 / 9:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

Darcy James Argue's original take on big band's past and future comes to life with Tia Fuller's Rainbow Big Band. His Secret Society band has garnered international critical acclaim.

Admission: Free

Workshop: Funding and You

Friday / April 22, 2016 / 1:00 p.m.
Berklee Media Center
150 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

What is the role of grant writing in the life of a jazz composer, and what are the funding cycles and process? Find out at this workshop with Chamber Music America and composer Andy Milne.

Admission: Free

Color in Context: Orchestral Instruments and Jazz

Friday / April 22, 2016 / 3:00 p.m.
Eisenson Room

160 Massachusetts Avenue, third floor, Boston, MA, 02215, United States

Join us for our final panel discussion of the 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium. 

Admission: Free

Andy Milne with the Jazz Composition Workshop Ensemble

Friday / April 22, 2016 / 7:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

Recognized as one of the great and influential voices of the New York jazz scene, Andy Milne joins the Jazz Composition Workshop Ensemble as they perform works from his extensive and impressive repertoire.

Admission: Free

Jazz Composition Orchestra with Terence Blanchard and Samuel Torres

Friday / April 22, 2016 / 8:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, United States

Come hear rarely performed works from Terence Blanchard, Samuel Torres, and Eric Gould with the newly created Jazz Composition Orchestra.

Admission: $8 in advance / $12 day of show

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