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JJA seeks applicants, activists

Dec 15th, 2010 | By

The JJA is on the move. Our “New Media for New Jazz” conference is set for January 7 – 11 in NYC — simultaneous with Winter Jazzfest (conference registrants will get in free), the Association for Performing Arts Presenters convention (our conference sessions — details and registration to be posted shortly — will take place within APAP’s spaces; we’ll be at the open Jazz Forum) and the NEA’s Jazz Masters events (we are invited to take part). This is just the start of the JJA’s activities for 2011, when our organization becomes 25 years old.

As previously reported, the JJA has received a grant to launch our eyeJAZZ.tv initiative to populate the web with easily and inexpensively produced jazz news video clips — more on that below but “like” us on your Facebook page if you have one. Affecting everybody, JJANews and members.jazzjournalists.org are both providing services the JJA hasn’t had before, and we have a new monthly (more or less) members’ newsletter.

Consequently, we’re seeking 100 per cent dues renewal. As 98 members are up for renewal in January and February — their dues equal about 1/3 of the JJA’s annual operating budget — we want new members to fill-in for any on our lists who opt out, and to build up our forces.

Also, the JJA seeks activists with fresh energy to participate in activities we’ve got going on now:

  • panelists/discussants and producers of panels in NYC and elsewhere;
  • writers, photographers, podcasters and videographers to submit appropriate works to JJANews (contact David Adler, editor@jazzjournalists.org)
  • help with many aspects of the JJA’s 2011 Jazz Awards;
  • ideas and commitment to realize them, to help advance jazz journalism as a viable profession.

The JJA’s eyeJAZZ.tv grant comes from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Jazz.NEXT program, with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. We will equip and train a cadre of jazz journalists to capture on-site video interviews and news stories involving musicians, listeners, club owners, concert producers and others, then quickly edit and place their reports online.  Bret “JazzVideoGuy” Primack, Chicago-based filmmaker-videographer Floyd Webb, JA Kawell of Ozmotic Media and I are principals in organizing, coordinating, promoting and implementing this project — and we hope other JJA members will work with the nascent videographers in several capacities. The application and curriculum will be posted on JJANews very soon. To sign up for emails about this exciting project, go here.

But to start: JJA members should consider their own interests in this project, or personal contacts who might be potential applicants. We want a highly diversified class, whose interests in jazz, journalism and guerrilla video can spark a movement towards such posts that fires up activity beyond the resources of the JJA itself.

The JJA is on an arc of growth, with tentative plans to have a “New Media for New Jazz” conference/birthday party in spring in Chicago, and a satellite party associated with the Jazz Awards slated for Nashville for the first time. Many jazz journalists recognize that it’s a fertile creative time for the music, and our organization’s position is that despite transitions in media, there are opportunities for jazz journalism to make major steps into the future.

The JJA is positioned to lead the charge. Our resources are deep, with 329 members currently, and more than 450 registered “contacts,” all people and institutions with highly developed skills and far-ranging reach. Members’ participation is sought — this is a members’ organization. Write me at President@jazzjournalists.org, I promise quick response. Have a great holiday season, and come to the “New Media for New Jazz” conference if you can. We’re exploring possibilities of streaming some sessions, too — watch JJANews for details, which will be posted as soon as they’re settled. Meanwhile: Jazz it up.


About Howard Mandel

Howard Mandel is an author, media and events producer, editor, educator, lecturer and president of the Jazz Journalists Association.

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