A wonderful opportunity to get away from the everyday grind and immerse oneself fully in all the benefits that jazz has to offer, the annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education is always one of the hippest places to hang for any jazz enthusiast. But when the conference is being held in New York City, it becomes even more of a event, accompanied by any number of off-campus offerings in addition to the plethora of workshops and concerts that keep one hopping over the course of four days. What follows is just a sampling, via photographs, of some of what this year's conference had to offer.
As part of the Oscar Perez Septet, up and coming saxophonist Stacy Dillard performed one of the pieces commissioned by IAJE this year during the opening general session.
Although he has kept a low profile under the radar the past couple of years, Kevin Hays delivered a power-packed trio performance that proved he continues to be an underappreciated talent.
As part of the Kevin Hays trio, drummer Bill Stewart offered telepathic support while engaging in some wonderful three-way conversation with Hays and bassist Doug Weiss.
As a special guest with the IAJE Community College All-Stars, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon nearly stole the show, mixing in some dazzling technical displays with tasty passages in the tailgate tradition.
In a program titled The Latin Side of Miles Davis, Brian Lynch teamed with Conrad Herwig for an incendiary set that paired the genius of Miles with the traditonal clave for an intoxicating hybrid.
Sitting in as a special guest with the Western Michigan University Octet, vibraphonist Stefon Harris brought several of his own pieces to perform, with Billy Hart and Fred Hersch also making the scene.
As part of the Marvin Stamm quartet, Rufus Reid joined a superb cast of all-stars including Bill Mays and Ed Soph.
A valuable session man since the '60s, trumpeter Marvin Stamm put new life into a number of well-chosen standards during his fine quartet performance.
Leading an absolutely fabulous big band, Charles Tolliver wrapped things up on the closing night with a stunning performance that ranked as one of the best of the conference.
Business partner and sidekick to Tolliver for many years, pianist Stanley Cowell contributed a number of spirited solos during Tolliver's set.
Taking a lion's share of the solo space, Billy Harper was an integral part of the Charles Tolliver Big Band as well.
Taking part in several combo performances, Geoff Keezer threw in some tasty Rhodes piano in his work with Ingrid Jensen's forward-thinking quartet.
In similar fashion to the direction being taken by players like Nicholas Payton and Christian McBride, Ingrid Jensen adds the electronics to her horn for some interesting effects that led to a fusion- heavy approach.
As the man of the hour, Matt Wilson was the ubiquitous one throughout the conference, leading a drum clinic and performing with a number of groups. His enthusiasm for the music of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra was positively contagious.
One of the things that makes Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra so special is the mix of colors including tuba and the French horn of Vincent Chancey, who easily carries on the tradition as established by the legendary Julius Watkins.