Slide Show: The 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium

By 
Kimberly Ashton
May 4, 2016
Composer and pianist Billy Childs, a four-time Grammy Award–winner, speaks before a performance with a student ensemble in the David Friend Recital Hall.
Student harmonica player Roni Eytan and student vocalist Paulaine Sano perform with Billy Childs during the 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium.
Student trumpeter Arnetta Johnson, a professional music major, performs with a student ensemble during Billy Child's show at the 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium.
Acclaimed big band composer Darcy James Argue addresses the crowd before leading the Rainbow Big Band during the 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium.
Darcy James Argue leads the Rainbow Big Band, a student ensemble, at David Friend Recital Hall.
Student saxophonist Chris Gemerchak solos during a Rainbow Big Band performance led by Darcy James Argue.
Student Jose (Cito) Lovell plays a trombone solo with the Rainbow Big Band, led by Darcy James Argue.
Neil Leonard, artistic director of the Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute, and top-tier jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard perform at the Berklee Performance Center as part of the 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium.
Terence Blanchard, a visiting artist at Berklee, performs at the Berklee Performance Center as part of the 2016 State of Jazz Composition Symposium.
From left: Neil Leonard, Terence Blanchard, and student Lee Gilboa, who is pursuing a dual major in jazz composition and electronic music and production, explore new possibilities for bringing together jazz and electronic music.
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green
Dave Green

At Berklee's second biennial State of Jazz Composition Symposium, from April 19–22, 2016, some of jazz's brightest stars came together to explore the genre's tradition of innovation and to ponder the current state of its creative evolution.  

Eric Gould, chair of the Jazz Composition Department, said, "The symposium was another big step toward our goal of connecting Berklee students with some of the foremost composers in our music today in an atmosphere where they can learn through creative engagement, listening, interaction, and performance. Composers Darcy James Argue, Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs, John Clayton, Andy Milne, and Samuel Torres all contributed unique perspectives as visiting artists, and enriched the students' understanding of the broad universe of jazz composition."

Guest artists at the previous State of Jazz Composition Symposium included Blanchard and Childs as well as Maria Schneider, Geri Allen '14H, Vijay Iyer, Patrice Rushen, and Rudresh Mahanthappa.