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IAJS meeting in New York in June 2022

The annual International Association of Schools of Jazz meeting this summer took place in the home of bebop and world center of jazz, New York city, hosted by the New School. I had the privilege to join the meeting with two of my dear friends and colleagues and represent our school the Sibelius Academy. The excitement of visiting the Big Apple, not as a mere tourist but with a mission concerning our occupation, jazz music, was tangible. We were ready to absorb everything the city had to offer. We’d fill our schedule with concerts we could not miss. And we knew sleeping was not a priority.

The jazz students and teachers from all around the world would first meet at the lobby of the New School. Right away the atmosphere amongst the like minded passionate people was warm and natural. Then the legendary Miles Davis alumni saxophonist David Liebman walked through the crowd to open the meeting. The students were called to play in a jam session that led to division of us into different combos. These combos, consisting of all different nationalities, would practice and prepare their program through the week for the final concerts. In addition to the combo rehearsals the schedule included interesting lectures and presentations every day. On one of the afternoons another giant in jazz, the John Coltrane associate bassist Reggie Workman shared his wisdom with us. In New York these living legends are still walking around and passionately working on the art form. This was a humbling revelation to a Finnish jazz music enthusiast.

After only one week the world seemed smaller due to the new friendships and connections across the globe. I’m overwhelmed and fortunate to now have friends bonded by the mutual experience and the strong musical connection we had in the IASJ meeting. Soon I’ll fly to Paris to meet and work on music with my new French friend I met in New York last summer.

Dig Sibis Jazz

Things that are happening at the Department of Jazz at the Sibelius Academy.

“Jazz is not a what, it is a how. If it were a what, it would be static, never growing. The how is that the music comes from the moment, it is spontaneous, it exists at the time it is created. And anyone who makes music according to this method conveys to me an element that makes his music jazz.” -Bill Evans

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