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Long Beach Hosts IAJE Conference in January

For most of the year, Long Beach sleeps soundly, a peaceful hamlet in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. But from January 9 to January 12 Long Beach will resound day and night with the sound of reeds, brass, percussion and spirited conversation, as jazzmen and jazzwomen descend upon it for the International Association for Jazz Education’s annual conference. Workshops will be held, concerts will be given, awards will be awarded, and Long Beach will never be the same again.

This may be one of the few jazz events at which the workshops outshine the concerts, although the concerts certainly have enough stars to cast a light of their own. Chief among the concertgivers are Dr. Billy Taylor (pictured left) and Dave Brubeck, who will preside and perform, respectively, at a tribute to 2002 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Frank Foster, Percy Heath, and McCoy Tyner on Fri., Jan. 11. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band will get things started on the evening of Jan. 9, while Poncho Sanchez will be on hand to lead his Latin Jazz Band and close out the conference on a hot note on Jan. 12.

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