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31st Annual IAJE Conference: Pardon the Musical Interruption

NEA Jazz Masters at IAJE

If jazz is a dying breed, you’d never have guessed it during the International Association for Jazz Education’s 31st Annual Conference in New York. Well, at least not at first glance.

Part jazz-education summit, part industry showcase and part professional caucus, the event drew a reported 8,000-plus attendees over the course of four days. They swarmed not one but two hotel complexes-the Hilton and the Sheraton-momentarily transforming a swatch of Midtown Manhattan into global Jazz Central. For those who live in New York year-round, the scene may have suggested a variation on Bizarro World: A clean, well-lighted place teeming with people who made easy eye contact, and who, if asked, could probably hum the first five notes of “Blue Train.”

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