BGJI Cofounds International Association to Advance Jazz
Five prestigious music programs have formed a new international organization to prepare young musicians to become jazz ambassadors in and beyond their communities. The Global Association for Interconnective Arts (GAIA)—comprising the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School, the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and Siena Jazz Academy—will explore, define, and implement new ways of educating music students.
Led by Danilo Pérez, BGJI aritstic director, and representatives from the other schools, the GAIA’s primary goal is to create of a new cultural ecosystem to nurture sustainable careers for future generations of artists across the globe. "Our hope is that the GAIA will foster an international platform that inspires young artists to find adventurous proposals of great pedagogical, artistic, and social significance, helping us rise to the challenge of living in peace with dignity, justice, and freedom," said Pérez.
“The students, administrators, and faculty at the New School are all thrilled to be working with the incredible partner schools that have come together to form GAIA,” says Keller Coker, dean of the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. “We look forward to hearing the music that comes from this, and hope the collaborative work that these students will engage in will become a model for other collaborations in fields in and out of the arts.”
The GAIA will create a student ensemble that will study, record, and perform around the world, starting in March 2019 with a tour of the Netherlands that includes performances at the Bimhuis and at Jazzfest Amsterdam. “We encourage students to become ambassadors of music who inspire excellence, bridge cultural and ethnic differences, and create music that serves as a social experience," said Edo Righini, head of jazz and pop at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
In addition to touring, the GAIA will offer a dynamic learning environment with opportunities for active social engagement. Students will visit hospitals and refugee centers as representatives of a musical community that connects and heals. “Through awareness and empowerment we motivate our students to find their own identity and realize their full potential as musicians, global thinkers, and world citizens,” said Pérez. “We will offer them perspectives that transcend categorization and stereotypes, while fostering a learning environment where fulfilling artistic, social, and intellectual experiences interconnects and shapes the personality of a new global musician.”
Riccardo del Fra, head of jazz at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, adds, "While remaining aware of the syncretism of music's origins to the numerous possible interactions between disciplines and diverse cultures, a musician might be able to invent a new music and new models of sharing knowledge as a socially committed artist."