I just returned from a few days in jazz heaven.
The International Association of Jazz Educators held its 33rd Annual conference at the Hilton and Sheraton Centers in New York City this past week. The Conference was attended by over 7,500 educators, musicians, industry executives, exhibitors, media and students from 35 countries. Jazz everywhere! Jazz concerts in the many ballrooms and lounges. Dozens of jazz workshops and clinics. And the legends of jazz were there as well.
The Exhibit Hall Grand Opening was Thursday night and the three exhibit halls were packed with wall to wall people. Chuck Israels and Darcy Argue helped at the booth. Having Chuck there was like having a celebrity. Chuck knows everybody in jazz and many came by to meet and to speak with Chuck.
Chuck played bass for Bill Evans for six years and played with many of the jazz greats (he also played bass on JABB). It was very enjoyable having him there along with his wife Margot and his daughter Jessica. Chuck wrote an excellent piece called "Margot's Mood" that we played often at the booth. We'll be posting this demo soon.
Darcy Argue also helped at the booth. Chuck introduced me to Darcy last year. Darcy is just plain brilliant. He is an excellent jazz musician and has a commanding knowledge of Finale. Darcy wrote the GPO Finale tutorial for Finale 2006c. He helped with technical problems and setting up the demos. With Chuck and Darcy helping, I was in good hands for the show.
Gary Lindsay, professor of Jazz at U Miami, who wrote "Jazz Arranging Techniques" (which I highly recommend), stopped by the booth. Gary has been such a great help and supporter. He wrote a chapter in the JABB manual and gave permission to use a piece from his book for a JABB big band demo. It was a real pleasure to get to meet him.
After the exhibits closed I met up with Andy Brick and Ray Lindsey for dinner at the Carnegie Deli. Great to have good New York food again and see a couple of my forum friends.
After dinner I went back to the evening concert and heard a performance by the WDR Big Band from Cologne, Germany. The band was fantastic and performed “Djangology,” a tribute to Django Reinhart featuring gypsy guitarist Bireli Lagrene.
Friday started out with a crowd of people at the exhibits. Many people were very interested in JABB and liked what they saw and heard.
Later in the morning I went to a Finale Clinic: "From Lead Sheet to Big Band". Tom Johnson gave a terrific presentation using JABB with Finale. Tom went through the process of setting up a big band chart one instrument at a time. He had excellent examples and demos (perhaps I can get permission to post them). I was very impressed with Tom's dynamic presentation and it made me want to buy Finale and JABB (wait, I own it!)
I stopped by the Finale booth and saw John Paulson, Julie Sopoci, Ann, Leigh Kallestad and the other fine folks at Finale. Here's a picture of MakeMusic President John Paulson getting ready to wail on the sax.
I attended some of the concert by Dave Berger and the Sultans of Swing. The title of the band is accurate. The band really swings. I mean really swings!
Here is a layout of the Dave Berger and the Sultans of Swing band.
(Compare with the Count Basie Band layout posted several weeks ago.)
I had an opportunity to talk with Dave Berger. Dave is a Professor of Composition and Arranging for the Jazz Studies Program at Juilliard School of Music. He also served as the conductor and arranger for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He is a leading authority on Duke Ellington's music and the Swing era and has written music for many television and Broadway shows. Dave and Chuck worked together for many years.