Past Symposia Information
2017 Symposium at the University of South Florida
May 18-20, 2017
ISJAC presented the revival of the Center for Jazz Composition’s vastly successful International Jazz Composers’ Symposium to rave reviews at the University of South Florida’s impressive facilities May 18-20, 2017 with nearly 200 participants in attendance. An unparalleled gathering of jazz composers, musicians, scholars, students, and industry professionals from across the world, this unique forum offered attendees the opportunity to connect with fellow jazz composers as well as celebrated master artists while becoming exposed to a variety of new works, concepts, and related music industry trends.
Over a three-day timespan, the Symposium showcased a diverse spectrum of composer/artist evening concerts featuring the unique and genre-bending Claudia Quintet led by John Hollenbeck, the distinct style, range, and dynamism of the Billy Childs Quartet, and the immensely inventive Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge (who also served as the conference’s resident jazz orchestra). During the day, participants attended artist talks by the featured performers as well as inspirations the likes of Maria Schneider and Rufus Reid; technical presentations by Ryan Truesdell, Ellen Rowe, and Socrates Garcia among many others; industry sessions with experts such as Bob Thompson (Music Sales Corp.), Gargi Shindé (Chamber Music America), Pete Barenbregge (Alfred Publishing Co.), and Brian Camelio (ArtistShare); new music workshops showcasing dozens of jazz composer/arrangers in a collaborative discussion with the featured composer artists; in addition to a vibrant poster session and numerous research presentations.
Perhaps the highlight of the 2017 Symposium was the unveiling of the new ISJAC Awards programs. The ISJAC Hall of Fame seeks to honor and immortalize those jazz composers and/or arrangers whose body of work has advanced the art form and profoundly impacted the profession by virtue of their artistic excellence, singular and unique voice, historic significance, and influence of future generations of composers. The 2017 Symposium inducted three luminaries into the ISJAC Hall of Fame: Mary Lou Williams (d. 1981), Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (d. 1974), and Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea. Corea was welcomed into the Hall of Fame during the final concert of the Symposium and motivated the attendees through an unexpected dazzling performance with Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge. In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, five outstanding composer/arrangers were illuminated as SONIC (Symposium Outstanding New Instrumental Compositions) in a public concert featuring the resident jazz orchestra. The 2017 SONIC Award recipients are Remy Le Boeuf, Ashley Summers, Scott Routenberg, Cassio Vianna, and Matt Sazima.
The full program can be viewed here in PDF format.
2006 & 2008 Symposia at University of South Florida
The Jazz Composers’ Symposium debuted in 2006 with a stellar guest artist line-up that included Bob Brookmeyer, John Clayton, & Dave Douglas. A production of the University of South Florida’s Center for Jazz Composition (headed by Chuck Owen & Dave Stamps), the inspirational gathering was an instant hit and was followed by a 2008 production featuring Jim McNeely, Bill Holman, Stefon Harris, & the Turtle Island String Quartet. The two events drew jazz composers from over 35 States as well as 6 countries. Sadly, and in spite of its tremendous popularity, the Symposium was a casualty of the economic downturn that resulted in the closure of the host USF Center. With the founding of ISJAC, the Symposium has a new producer and is making its much-anticipated return.
The Jazz Composers’ Symposium consisted of 2 and a 1/2 days of non-stop concerts, lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and much more. While led by the distinguished guest artist line-ups, the interactive event offered multiple opportunities for those in attendance to share their work via new music reading sessions, research paper presentations, and very unique composition “poster” sessions. Industry talks and panel discussions featured CEOs and leaders of performing rights organizations, record labels, digital music platforms, and even a prominent music attorney.