My focus at the IAJE conference is threefold: an article for DownBeat about a joint education program betweeen The Manhattan School of Music and The National Arts Centre; an article for Winnipeg's Dig! magazine tracking five University of Manitoba jazz program students through their experience here; and my responsibilities as vice-president of the Jazz Journalists Association.
The latter two occupied Thursday from 9 am to late. We started early—always a challenge in New York, where there's so much going on—with the annual JJA workshop on review writing. Hopefully, six participants will be back with their overnight reviews for one-on-one critiquing Friday morning. Informal JJA-related conversations throughout the day, culminating with a cocktail reception at a very crowded Iridium on Times Square.
Somewhere in the middle I caught trumpeter Avishai Cohen's band inside an insanely packed bar off the lobby of the Hilton. One of the Winnipeg students held down the piano chair in Cohen's band, and it was great to hear him get some spirited vocal support from his fellow students. Will Bonness held his own, too, in some fast company that included guitarist Lionel Loueke.
Closed off the night with a leisurely, and jazz obsessed, Thai dinner with a few JJA members.