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.