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Reflecting on the Jazz Education Network Conference: A Celebration of Jazz and Community

The vibrant sounds of New Orleans recently echoed with the passion and dedication of countless individuals who gathered for the 2024 Jazz Education Network Conference in New Orleans, LA. As the President and CEO of JazzArts Charlotte and the Board President of the Jazz Education Network, I am filled with tremendous pride as my two worlds came together at this exceptional event.

The Charlotte community should be especially proud of the remarkable representation we had at the conference. In addition to the JazzArts staff, faculty, parents, and donors, our very own JazzArts All-Star Youth Ensemble graced the stage as student performers, delivering an outstanding performance that resonated with the JEN audience attendees. Witnessing their talent and excitement on a national platform was truly fulfilling, and it serves as a testament to the strength of our city’s jazz education programs.

In my role as JEN President, I am incredibly proud of the organization’s unwavering commitment to supporting jazz education on a global scale. From educators and students to established musicians and passionate fans, the conference fostered a sense of community and shared purpose that transcended geographical boundaries. The best part is that our JazzArts Charlotte students were there to experience it all.

If you haven’t already, I encourage everyone, not just those directly involved in jazz education, to consider becoming a member of the Jazz Education Network and perhaps attending future conferences. (The next conference will be in Atlanta – a short drive from Charlotte- Jan 8-11, 2025) The organization offers a wealth of resources, live performances from the top names, networking opportunities, and, most importantly, a chance to immerse yourself in the diverse community of jazz. Whether you’re a seasoned musician, a curious student, or simply a jazz music lover, there’s something for everyone within the JEN community.

The 2024 Jazz Education Network Conference was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impression on all who participated. As several of our students shared, it was a “life-changing experience” for our six local All-Stars, serving as a powerful reminder of the importance of fostering a supportive environment for jazz students to thrive. As we move forward, let us carry the spirit of this experience into our local community, continuing to nurture the love for jazz and inspire future generations.

Lonnie Davis
JazzArts Charlotte President
Jazz Education Network President

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