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 News Jazz 02/11/2018

Inaugural Jazz Philadelphia Summit Begins Today

Inaugural Jazz Philadelphia Summit Begins Today

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) During the inaugural Jazz Philadelphia Summit on Nov. 2 and 3, 2018, regional and national jazz luminaries will gather in Center City Philadelphia to honor the city's deep jazz roots and discuss its future. Musicians, jazz enthusiasts, advocates, funders, and the arts and culture community are gathering at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the University of the Arts for both high-level discussions and hands-on workshops about the art and business of jazz. Sessions will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day. RSVP is required, but registration is free and open to all, available through the Jazz Philadelphia website at

Organizers at Jazz Philadelphia believe the city could become an epicenter for the resurgence of interest in jazz as an art form. "The time has come for Philadelphia to be recognized as the world-class jazz destination it is," says renowned jazz bassist Gerald Veasley, president of the newly-formed initiative.

He continued, "Philadelphia has been fertile soil for jazz for over 100 years. The city has served as a launching pad for the careers of legends such as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Lee Morgan, Melody Gardot, Christian McBride, Grover Washington, Jr., Sun Ra and many more. Jazz Philadelphia is here to provide more opportunities for the next generation of musicians to play here, stay here, and share their talent with the world. I've had a wonderful career as a Philadelphia-based musician, and I want to ensure that others can do the same."

Musicians, industry professionals, and those who support jazz and the arts will have access to keynote speakers and in-depth workshops and panels led by some of the most visionary, experienced, and talented jazz professionals in the country.

The Keynote speaker will be six-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon. Freelon is a world-reknowned jazz singer, composer, producer, arranger, and actress.

Other confirmed speakers will include: Faye Anderson, All That Philly Jazz; Jean and Marcus Baylor, The Baylor Project; Shaun Brady, Journalist, Philadelphia Inquirer and Jazz Times; Janis Burley Wilson, Founder, Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival; Mark Christman, Ars Nova Workshop; Suzanne Cloud, Co-Founder & Archivist, Jazz Bridge; Jeff Duperon, Host, WRTI & Executive Director, Jazz Bridge; John Ernesto, General Manager, Berks Jazz Fest; Bibi Green, Owner, Greenhouse Management; Lovett Hines, Artistic Director, The Clef Club of Performing Arts; Michael Kline, General Manager, Exit Zero Jazz Fest; Eric Hanson, Agent, AB Artists; Don Lucoff, Artistic Director, PDX Jazz & President, DL Media; Justin Nordell, Philadelphia Folk Song Society; Lee Mergner, Jazz Congress, Jazz Times; Jack McCarthy, Archivist and Historian, Jazz Bridge; Warren Oree, Co-Founder & Artistic Director, Lifeline Music Coalition; Michelle Taylor, Founder and Managing Director, Passion Music Group; Samantha Wittchen, Philly Music Lab, and Matt Yaple, Exuberance.

City officials, arts and culture leaders, and many others will also participate in the summit, including Philadelphia's Chief Cultural Officer Kelly Lee, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (invited), Councilman David Oh, and Executive Director Jeff Hornstein from the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.

Sessions will touch on topics that include the economic impact of the arts; educating musicians and audiences; building a management team; artist mentoring; touring; curation and presentation; education; applying for grants and residencies, and much more. In addition, the Summit will feature a performance by the University of the Arts 'Z' Big Band. Attendees will also be encouraged to attend performances in the evening in various clubs and venues in the city, which will have individual ticket prices.

The Jazz Summit is Jazz Philadelphia's first major program. "Jazz Philadelphia was formed in order to help support musicians, and to convene and connect our thriving community in order to project its strength to the world," says Jazz Philadelphia's Executive Director Heather Blakeslee. "We're excited to gather city officials, arts and culture leaders, funders and others to discuss how we can ensure that jazz in Philadelphia continues to thrive. We're looking forward to supporting the jazz community for years to come."

Equally important to the scheduled sessions, the Summit will provide attendees with the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with the Jazz Philadelphia Leadership Team, Staff and other jazz stakeholders who, together, will advance Philadelphia's success as a financially robust, world class-jazz destination.

Jazz Philadelphia Summit locations are situated on Philadelphia's "Avenue of the Arts". They are the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 South Broad Street and University of the Arts, Terra Building, Caplan Hall, 211 South Broad Street.
All interested participants can register for this free summit through the Jazz Philadelphia website at

Jazz Philadelphia's mission is to advance the development of the city's thriving and vibrant local jazz scene and to gain recognition for Philadelphia as the world-class jazz destination it is. By convening and connecting the jazz community, we hope to honor our roots, celebrate our present, and embrace the future of jazz in Philadelphia. Jazz Philadelphia is a sponsored project of Equal Measure, made possible by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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