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8/2008 BJAM Session Newsletter

(August Pre-TBA 2008)

Previous issues of the BJAM Session are available online at http://www.bakersjazzandmore.com/news/

You are welcome to copy and distribute these newsletters to other directors, students, or anyone else who might be interested.


INTRODUCTION – We have some BIG news – MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS – see INTRODUCTION, NEW MUSIC, and FEATURE SOLO sections for more details.
FEATURE SOLO – Alex Parker, Director of Jazz Studies at Baylor University – IAJE, JEN, TJEA – what’s going on in Texas jazz education?
OPEN CHORUSES – Open for discussion
SHOUT SECTION – Come see us at TBA, Baker’s Jazz And More, booth #819 near the entrance.
CODA – Final Words
INTRODUCTION – Welcome to the semi-annual pre-convention issue. We have several major announcements to make so I’ll get right to them.

First, Baker’s Jazz And More is finally fulfilling its entire name. We’ve been doing the Jazz part pretty well, and now we can proudly announce “And More”, too, with the addition of our NEW MARCHING BAND MUSIC. We currently have three stand tunes available – “Blanca”, “Senor Frio”, and “Sesos de Huesos” – all from the library of Robert “Beto” Skiles and Beto y los Fairlanes. We will have full scores and MIDI recordings available at our booth. These are proven crowd pleasers that will have your fans up and moving. Please drop by to check them out.

Second, We are proud to announce that all BJAM music is now available through RBC Music of San Antonio. You can make your purchases at our booth or theirs. Look for us in the jazz section of their display area, and if you don’t see the title you’re looking for, ask them for it and they can order it for you. We offer same day shipping.

Third, There have been a lot of questions and rumors floating around since the bankruptcy and closing of the International Association for Jazz Education, or IAJE. Please be sure to read the article from Alex Parker, President of the former Texas Chapter of IAJE, now known as the Texas Jazz Educators Association, for a discussion of what’s happening on both the state and national levels with regards to continuing the work and programs started by IAJE. There’s a lot going on right now, and I encourage you to attend the IAJE (soon to be Texas Jazz Educators Association, or TJEA) meeting during the TBA convention. Also in attnedance, and speaking, will be Mary Jo Papich and Lou Fischer of the newly formed national Jazz Educators Network (JEN). Make sure this meeting is on your schedule – Monday, July 28th, 9:30-10:30am, Room 212.

NEW MARCHING BAND MUSIC – “…And More” now finally has the catalog to back up the title. We are proud to offer three new stand tunes, all in the jazz salsa style, that are fun and original – you won’t hear them coming being played back to you fom across the stands – YET – but that won’t last long. Our three titles – “Blanca”, “Senor Frio”, and “Sesos de Huesos” are tried and proven crowd pleasers from the library of Beto y los Fairlanes. We’ll have full scores and MIDI recordings at our booth. Be sure to drop by and check them out.

In addition to “El Gato Chulo” announced last month, we’re pleased to offer “Riffin’ On the Duke”, a grade 3 medium swing chart based on the chord changes from the Ellington standard “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”. Featuring a new bebop melody that moves through each section of the ensemble, and full of melodic quotes (how many can you find?) from other Ellington tunes, there are solos for trumpet, trombone, alto sax, and piano. Written solos are provided along with the chord changes. Trumpet range is to written high C.

MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSICBJAM is pleased to announce the addition of two new grade 2 middle school charts to our catalog – “Steppin’ Up”, a Basie/Nestico style medium swing chart, and “Blue Goo”, a hip medium swing 12 bar blues. Scores will be available for review at our booth. Recording will be forthcoming.

As always, check www.bakersjazzandmore.com/charts/ for all of our charts for middle school, high school, and college programs. If you’re looking for a particular type of chart, let us know. We might be able to fill your need with something we have already in the works – OR – we are available for commissions and will be happy to work with you and your band to create custom music for your band. Contact paul@bakersjazzandmore.com to discuss further.


This month’s Featured Soloist is Alex Parker, Director of Jazz Studies at Baylor University and president of the newly formed Texas Jazz Educators Association (TJEA). In the wake of the recent demise of the IAJE, I’ve asked Alex to address the issues of what happened, what’s currently happening, and what is on the agenda for the near future in terms of Jazz Education in Texas and nationally. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Alex via the information included at the end of this article. Your interest and participation are vital to jazz education in Texas.

I know that we as jazz enthusiasts, jazz educators and jazz musicians were all shocked and saddened by the news that the IAJE (the International Association for Jazz Education) is no more. For many years, this organization has been in the forefront of jazz and jazz education in our country.

Many people have been asking me what happened. Basically, IAJE went bankrupt. The short version of the story is that the last few international conferences did not make very much money; there were some endowments that did not come to fruition; and there were some questionable expenditures along the way as well. It came down to poor money management. Unfortunately, with the decline in membership of many professional organizations, this seems to be the way that many of these types of associations are headed.

As president of the Texas Chapter of IAJE, I was frustrated and very saddened by this bankruptcy particularly because we were finally getting some genuinely helpful programs started here in Texas to further jazz education in our school.

Now for the good news. There is a new national organization that is being formed called the JEN, the Jazz Educators Network. This group is being headed up by Mary Jo Papich, an educator in the Chicago area, and Lou Fischer, jazz professor at Capitol University. The JEN lists as its goals to be an inclusive, essential resource for anyone involved in jazz education that will be able to support and build a strong and well equipped jazz community that meets the needs of 21st century education.

The JEN is just getting the logistics taken care of including the establishment of this new 501c3 organization, but there will be opportunities very soon to join as a charter member. There is no push at the moment for state chapters of the JEN and for legal reasons, they are not asking the former state chapters of IAJE to join and use the JEN as a parent organization. Mary Jo has told me that they would like to help the former state chapters in anyway possible, and they would like to form an alliance to best help our teachers and students. But for now, there is no discussion of state chapters of the JEN. Because of this, many state chapters are reorganizing and working to establish stronger local organizations. I have talked to or received information from the New Jersey chapter, the California Chapter, the Oklahoma Chapter and the Washington chapter and they are filing paperwork, restructuring, and continuing on to enhance and grow jazz teaching and learning in their states. Your Texas organization is no different.

The IAJE-Texas is its own 501c3 not-for-profit organization and we are more than financially stable. The executive board met shortly after the announcement from IAJE and we agreed that this is an opportunity to not just maintain our organization and our programs, but to build a newer, stronger and more relevant organization for our Texas members. The new Texas jazz educator organization is the TJEA (the Texas Jazz Educators Association, HYPERLINK “http://www.tjea.org“www.tjea.org). All of these changes will need to be voted on by our membership (including a dues schedule) and they will go into effect after our meeting at the TBA (Texas Bandmasters Association) conference on July the 28th. The new programs (school grant program, jazz director symposiums, access to clinicians and a resource team, the TMEA region jazz chair appreciation breakfast, etc.) will not change and we will continue to add more new and exciting programs as well. We will also continue to print the TJEA Newsletter, help with the seating of the All-State band, and print and publish the Texas All-State Jazz tryout music.

To be honest, I am personally excited about the new opportunities that we have before us. At times, I was frustrated with the focus of IAJE. I have felt for years that we had lost the goal of supporting jazz education in our schools. IAJE was just too big to focus on individual programs and the individual directors. Therefore, theTJEA board has spent most of the summer restructuring our organization to better serve our members in Texas. We are hoping that more people will be interested in joining this new organization because all of the money from dues will go directly into programs for our Texas students and teachers.

So, here is what we need from you. We need for members to re-join the new organization when we are officially established on July the 28th. We also need new members to join and everyone to get involved and help us to grow this new organization and help us to shape it to best support jazz and jazz education in Texas. Your promise from me will be that we will continue to add programs, symposiums, and opportunities to make it worth your while, your time and money.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with ideas and/or comments about your organization, TJEA. Thanks for your commitment to jazz and jazz education. With the support of jazz educators and jazz enthusiasts alike, Jazz, an important part of our heritage, will continue to be a living, breathing and constantly changing art form for many years to come.

Alex Parker
President, TJEA
Director of Jazz Studies
Baylor University
254-710 4625 Office


Have any topics for discussion? Have any questions you’d like to ask? Have any comments you’d like to make? This is the place. Send your topics, questions, and comments to paul@bakersjazzandmore.com and we’ll put them in the next issue of the BJAM Session. The goal is to share knowledge and experience for the benefit of all, teachers and students alike.



Thanks to Tom Rhodes and Don Bierschenk of RBC Music for carrying BJAM Music. Ask for our titles at their booth and store.

Thanks to Jack Green at Westwood HS, Austin for his assistance with our marching band music.

Learn more about the Jazz Studies program at Baylor University at the Baylor Jazz Studies homepage

Finally, come out and see us at TBA! We’re in booth #819 in the main room (East Hall). We’ll have all of our charts available to peruse and purchase, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about us or the music.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. It is our desire to make this newsletter a valuable tool for you by hosting letters, posing questions to the community, offering rehearsal, performance, or arranging tips or whatever you’d like to see discussed. If you have a jazz education topic you want to explore, please contact us at paul@bakersjazzandmore.com and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.

If you find this information valuable, we encourage you to forward it on to anyone else who you feel might benefit from it. One of our main goals is to “spread the word”. The more information educators and students have about jazz, the better the music will be and everyone benefits.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you, and we hope that you’ll be looking forward to hearing from us as well.

Until next month,

Paul Baker
Owner and Composer
Baker’s Jazz And More

If you would prefer to not receive future issues of the BJAM Session newsletter, then please email us at paul@bakersjazzandmore.com and you will be unsubscribed post haste.