The International Association for Jazz Education officially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, simultaneously announcing the cancellation of its 2009 convention, slated to be held in Seattle next January, and the immediate closure of its headquarters in Manhattan, Kansas.
As a journalist, I'm not close enough to the jazz education field to know what effects this might have at that level, but I do know that IAJE was a tremendous resource for educators and that the conference provided a terrific meeting place for educators and their students.
For my profession, what this business failure means is the death of an annual sharing of information. Since integrating the old JazzTimes Convention a number of years ago, the IAJE convention was the place where journalists and others on the "industry" side of jazz gathered to trade ideas, renew friendships and get re-energized for the year ahead. More specifically, for the Jazz Journalists Association, on whose board I serve as vice-president, it was a chance for us to help educate young journalists and develop our own chops through workshops and panels.
IAJE will definitely be missed, but knowing the dedication and enthusiasm that exists among jazz educators at all levels I have no doubt that something will rise from the ashes. It will just take time.