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Symposium brings together jazz composers, arrangers, students for classes, conversation, concerts

Poster for ISJAC Symposium 2022
courtesy of ISJAC
Poster for ISJAC Symposium 2022

The ISJAC International Jazz Composers Symposium is a bi-annual conference that brings hundreds of jazz composers, arrangers, educators and industry executives together for three days of concerts, lectures, panel discussions and the presentation of new jazz compositions and arrangements. 

The ISJAC Symposium is a forum to unite jazz composers of all ages and nationalities in an informal exchange of ideas, information and inspiration. 

Each symposium is anchored by several renowned jazz composer/arrangers who are typically in residence for the duration of the conference. This year's guests include Terri Lyne Carrington, Jim McNeely, Miguel Zenón, Miho Hazama and John Clayton. 

During the day, they will discuss their compositional processes, provide feedback to other composers in the master classes, debate industry practices in panel discussions and be available for individual contact with attendees.

ISJAC: Building Community

Evening concerts will feature their works performed by their own ensembles or in conjunction with the resident jazz orchestra.

The symposium offers the opportunity for composers and arrangers to share and discuss their new works with colleagues.

Anyone can submit their works for consideration; usually around 35 pieces will be selected by ISJAC’s panels of artists. These works will be featured in a series of open master classes led by the guest artists and, in the New Music Presentations, led by the composers themselves.

The symposium includes the presentation of the SONIC Awards: Symposium Outstanding New Instrumental Compositions.

The selected works will be performed during the SONIC Concert by the resident professional jazz orchestra. The ISJAC/USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition will be presented to student composers, whose works will also be performed at this time. 

Inductees into the ISJAC Hall of Fame are recognized and honored at the SONIC Concert as well.

The Fifth Annual ISJAC Symposium will be held May 12-14 at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin.

Registration information is here.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.