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2008 NCCU Jazz Festival & NAJRI HBCU Conference

North Carolina Central University, in partnership with the African American Jazz Caucus Research Institute (NAJRI), presents the 18th Annual NCCU Jazz Festival and the Second Annual NAJRI HBCU Jazz Conference, April 16-19, 2008, on NCCU’s campus in Durham.  There will be featured performances by saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman and the Cedar Walton Trio with bassist David Williams and drummer George Fludas.  The conference will feature vocal and instrumental clinics, master classes, nightly jazz concerts and jam sessions, and a photo exhibit of jazz greats.

The four-day, power-packed conference and festival will offer symposia on issues uniquely affecting jazz education programs at historically black colleges and universities and within the African-American community.  Noted speakers will offer their thoughts on the development of K-12 jazz curricula and feeder systems; diversity in jazz education teaching methodologies; jazz within the church and community; the role of the media including radio, TV, print and the Internet; and other continuing education credit workshops.

NAJRI will further establish a Jazz Hall of Fame with eight North Carolinians being honored as the first musical giants inducted based on their outstanding contributions to America’s truest art form. The inductees will be:  Max Roach, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Percy Heath, Dr. Billy Taylor, Lou Donaldson, Nina Simone, and Tal Farlow.  NAJRI will recognize musicians Jimmy Heath, Albert “Tootie” Heath as well as John Conyers, a U.S. Congressman for their contributions and support of the jazz genre.

Lenora Helm, NCCU adjunct lecturer of jazz vocal studies, says the festival is the highlight and culmination of a year of recognition for the jazz and vocal jazz ensemble students. The students won top honors among HBCU’s in February 2008 at the International Association for Jazz Educators conference in Toronto, Canada. "Over the past three years, NCCU has set the benchmark, winning awards from Downbeat magazine, performing at the White House and the Kennedy Center," said Helm. "The students will get a chance to perform with high level artists and that is due to the success of the seeds planted by Ira Wiggins," according to Helm. Wiggins is the director of NCCU's Jazz Studies program and co-director of the festival and conference.

For conference details, please go to: http://www.najri.org

Additional contact information:
Dr. Larry Ridley       
NAJRI Co Director       
AAJC Executive Director     

Dr. Ira Wiggins
NAJRI Co Director
NCCU Director of Jazz Studies 

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2008
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