01/08/10

Conference of Performing Arts Presenters to Include Expanded Jazz Track

APAP Conference to be held in NYC during January 9–12, 2010

The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) has long held its annual conference, bringing together buyers and sellers of performing arts talent, in New York City during the winter season. For many years, the conference was held right before Christmas, which offered as many disadvantages as advantages. Eventually, the dates were moved to early January, which enabled the conference to have access to the necessary meeting space and the attendees to spend the Christmas holiday with friends and family, rather than with business contacts. The conference gathers presenters (representatives from festivals, theaters, concert series and schools) from all over the country and therefore also attracts a multitude of sellers.—booking agents, managers, tour promoters—all eager to pitch their acts for gigs or tours. The resulting confluence is a highly production interaction that can set performing arts schedules on paper, if not in stone, for the next few years.

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Jazz has always been a part of the mix of the performing arts genres covered at APAP, but it naturally had a less prominent role competing with genres such as classical music, opera, theater and dance. However, with the recent dissolution of the International Association of Jazz Education and its annual conference, APAP has attracted even more jazz presenters.

For this year’s conference being held at the New York Hilton during January 9-12, there are panels every day connected with jazz. In addition, the annual presentation of the NEA Jazz Masters will occur within the confines of the conference.

And, of course there will be showcases, authorized and unauthorized, throughout the city during the next four days. Sellers of talent believe, perhaps accurately, that if a presenter sees their artist in performance, then that presenter will be unable to resist bringing said artist to their concert hall, theater or school. The promotion of showcases becomes a performing art of its own, as presenters are pulled in 100 different directions by what seems to be 1,000 different sellers.

Perhaps the most prominent showcase is the NYC Winter Jazz Fest taking place at night at various venues in the West Village with a cornucopia of prominent and emerging jazz artists. Among the artists performing on those nights are: Gretchen Parloto, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Sachal Vasandani, Jenny Scheinman & Jason Moran, Matt Wilson, Lionel Loueke, Jaleel Shaw, Marco Benevento, Vijay Iyer, Ben Allison and many other notable jazz artists and groups. For information about those shows, go to that festival’s web site.

For registration information and a complete schedule of the APAP conference, visit the APAP web site.

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