For two and a half days in the middle of May, prominent jazz composers, musicians, scholars, students, and industry professionals from across the world flocked to Tampa, FL to convene for the first Jazz Composers’ Symposium in almost 10 years. Taking place in the University of South Florida School of Music’s impressive new building/concert hall located just north of downtown Tampa, the almost 200 conference registrants were afforded an all-too-rare opportunity to connect with fellow jazz composers while engaging with celebrated master artists, becoming exposed to a variety of new music, and discussing related music industry trends.
The event culminated with the ISJAC Board honoring Chick Corea with admission into its first Jazz Composer Hall-of-Fame class (along with posthumous awards to Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams). Upon accepting the award and saying a few words to the audience, Chick invited former bandmate Joe Chambers (Tones for Joan’s Bones) to join him on stage for an impromptu performance. Earlier in the evening Chuck Owen and his Jazz Surge (along with special guests Randy Brecker and Gregoire Maret) had captivated the near capacity crowd in attendance with stunning selections from their soon to be released project, “Whispers On the Wind”. A true jazz legend, congrats on the honor Chick! Check out his performance on NPR last year as this legend clearly still has the stuff.