The tough times just get tougher for the large institutions we traditionally associate with the jazz industry.
The latest sign is a financial crisis at the International Association of Jazz Education. Recently, an email was sent by IAJE president Chuck Owen soliciting emergency donations from members. Owen cites two reasons for the organization's fiscal shortfall: the failure of its "Campaign For Jazz" to reach its target over the past five years; and the poor attendance — 40 percent lower than normal — at the recent IAJE conference in Toronto.
In reaction to the financial crisis, the IAJE has temporarily suspended four major initiatives: publication of its glossy magazine; its scholarship program; the Park City Jazz Summit; and the search for a new executive director for IAJE. Former IAJE executive director Bill McFarlin resigned in January.
Owen anticipates that the 40-year-old organization will have to be "significantly" restructured to survive.