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Jazz Congress 2019 Speakers, Panels, and Advisory Board Announced

Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Maria Schneider, and George Wein will be among the participants in this two-day NYC conference

Maria Schneider at Jazz Congress (photo by Lawrence Sumulong/JALC)
Maria Schneider at the 2018 Jazz Congress (photo: Lawrence Sumulong/JALC)

UPDATED 12/17/18 — Jazz at Lincoln Center and JazzTimes have announced the speakers and panels to be featured at the 2019 Jazz Congress, which will take place Jan. 7-8, 2019 at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, in New York City. The two-day conference brings together members of the global jazz community to network, learn, and grow the audience for the music. The annual gathering also seeks to nurture businesses and organizations that promote, produce, present, market, and support jazz.

More information, registration details, and videos of sessions from the first annual Jazz Congress can be found on

The 2019 Jazz Congress speakers will include Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gary Bartz, Terri Lyne Carrington, Emmet Cohen, Victor Goines, Stefon Harris, Marquis Hill, Vijay Iyer, Dave Liebman, Sherrie Maricle, René Marie, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Donny McCaslin, Myra Melford, Riley Mulherkar, Ted Nash, Arturo O’Farrill, Aaron Parks, Maria Schneider, Terell Stafford, Helen Sung, George Wein, Lenny White, Matt Wilson, and Brandee Younger. Additional speakers will include representatives from Capacity Interactive, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU, DL Media, Duke Presents, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Night in America, Jazz St. Louis, JazzWeek, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society/Walton Arts Center, NPR, OKeh/Sony Music, Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, and WBGO. This year’s Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award will be presented to Darlene Chan, Senior Vice President of Festival Productions.

Jazz Congress has also announced its Advisory Board, members of which will provide valuable input from the jazz community on the programming and marketing of the conference. Jazz Congress Advisory Board members are Gene Dobbs Bradford, Jazz St. Louis; Terri Lyne Carrington, musician, educator, and recipient of the 2018 Bruce Lundvall Award; Tim Jackson, Monterey Jazz Festival; Karen Kennedy, 24 Seven Artist Development; Don Lucoff, DL Media; Katie Simon, Jazz Night in America/WBGO; Denny Stilwell, Mack Avenue Records; and Rodney Whitaker, musician and educator.

The 2019 Jazz Congress will feature more than 30 panel discussions throughout the two-day conference, including:

Keynote Session: Art Blakey Centennial Celebration
October 11, 2019 would have been Art Blakey’s 100th birthday. We mark this momentous occasion by reminiscing with some of his many collaborators about his leadership, mentorship, and contributions to our music.

Institutions in Transition: Newport Jazz Festival
George Wein produced his first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 at age 28. Today, as part of the non-profit Newport Festivals Foundation, the jazz festival continues in stride alongside its folk counterpart, under the leadership of Jay Sweet and Artistic Director Christian McBride. George has said his motivation in his ninth decade of life is to see the festivals flourish beyond him. In this conversation, he’ll share the stage with Jay and Christian to discuss leadership transitions, succession planning, and how the brand he established 65 years ago not only endures but flourishes.

Strategic Partnership in Practice: Jazz Night in America
What does an effective strategic partnership look like? How is it created and what does it take to maintain it? What value does each individual partner see in such a relationship and what can the jazz community learn from this unique partnership between NPR Music, WBGO, and Jazz at Lincoln Center?

Jazz, Swing, Race and Culture
Considering swing as a rhythm or swing as a feeling or a verb, what are the social, cultural, and racial factors that affect individuals’ perception, acceptance, or rejection of the concept? Players and thinkers ponder what swing means in 2019. Panelists include Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Myra Melford, and Nicholas Payton.

Jazz Between the Coasts
Presenters in secondary U.S. markets discuss the challenges and rewards of audience development and programming.

Women Big Band Leaders Roundtable: Presented by The National Endowment for the Arts
NEA Jazz Masters and other leading musicians—including Toshiko Akiyoshi, Miho Hazama, Sherrie Maricle, and Maria Schneider—discuss the challenges and opportunities of running and composing for large ensembles.

Jazz in Troubled Times
How does jazz speak to the tumult of today? Can a song change a mind? Is improvisation a political act? A frank discussion about what musicians can communicate in the face of social and political unrest, and how these times affect the course and context of our culture. Panelists include Vijay Iyer, René Marie, and Arturo O’Farrill.

Electric Miles Revisited
Members of Miles Davis’ ’70s electric bands—including Gary Bartz, Dave Liebman, Michael Henderson, Mtume, and Lenny White—talk about the music of that often-overlooked period.

What’s That Sound? An Audio Recording Masterclass
You’ve decided to record your latest album yourself. What are the tools, equipment, and skills that you need to make it work? Experienced recording engineers share their tricks of the trade.

Workshop: Making Engaging Videos
Thanks in part to social media and mobile technology, video has become one of the most important media platforms for artists at every level. This workshop explains how to cost-effectively make compelling videos that will move the needle.

Your Five Digital Priorities: A Marketing Masterclass
Having a presence digitally means more than just having a website. Molly Garber of digital marketing firm Capacity Interactive, which counts Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall as clients, shares five core priorities and how you can tackle them successfully, even with limited time and money.

Jazz Education Online
The rapid pace of technological innovation, along with widespread adoption of social media and smartphones, has dramatically changed how and where learning happens today. How are jazz educators taking advantage of these shifts? What are the benefits and challenges of student/teacher relationships mediated by screens? Leaders in online jazz education share their experiences.

Jazz Industry 101
Whether you are just starting your career, or are a veteran looking to take a deeper dive, this session will talk you through the major facets of the industry, from labels to festivals, agents to radio promoters and more.

Celebrating Randy Weston
With his September 1, 2018 passing, the jazz world lost a truly singular pianist/composer/bandleader and endless seeker of the African essence of music and spirituality. This panel will discuss the unprecedented African Rhythms legacy of this NEA Jazz Master, who in his own words  came to be a storyteller, a quest he achieved through a vast sphere of influences ranging from his Brooklyn homeboy Max Roach, to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, to mystical Sufi masters and global scholars.


Early Bird Registration rates are available now. Deadline extended to Sept. 20, 2018.
Two Day Pass: $125

Priority Registration: Sept. 21-Oct. 31, 2018
Two Day Pass: $175
Single Day Pass: $125

Regular Registration: Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2018
Two Day Pass: $200
Single Day Pass: $150

Week-of Registration: Jan. 1-8, 2019
Two Day Pass: $250
Single Day Pass: $200

Student Tickets: 50% discount at any time. Must show valid student ID at registration.


Special accommodation rates, from $100 and up, for 2019 Jazz Congress attendees are available at the Hudson Hotel New York, located at 358 W. 58th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. The special rates are applicable for Jan. 3-10, 2019 and must be booked by Dec. 15, 2018.

Reservations can be made by calling (702) 577-2830 or toll-free (800) 606-6090. Attendees should request Hudson Hotel New York reservations for the group name “Jazz Congress.” The group code is JA0319.

To make a reservation online, go to

The inaugural Jazz Congress, co-produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center and JazzTimes, was held in 2018 and drew more than 550 registrants from around the world. More than 150 performers, panelists, and speakers participated in performances, workshops, and 30 panel discussions on topics including Jazz and Race, Gender and Jazz, Leaning from Large Jazz Organizations, Why Performance Matters: Stagecraft Masterclass, Jazz in Film and TV Soundtracks, and more. The 2018 keynote address was delivered by NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Bruce Lundvall Award was presented to Terri Lyne Carrington.


Originally Published