[JPL] The official word from IAJE

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 18 17:22:33 EDT 2008

What will be really interesting is how the court rules on the local chapters. They carry the name and could be sucked down this black hole as well...pretty much solidifying its demise. 
  Jae Sinnett

EdBride at aol.com wrote:
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Alto saxophonist JALEEL SHAW - OPTIMISM w/ Robert Glasper, Lage Lund, Jeremy Pelt - modern jazz as it's being created today!

Vocalist KAREN BLIXT - MAD HOPE w/ Patrice Rushen, Randy Brecker, Will Kennedy, Abraham Laboriel, Alex Acuna, Kenny Washington - a set of highly original jazz vocals!


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MitchellFeldmanAssociates at Comcast.net


Members of IAJE received this official notification by email today,

Dear IAJE Family,

It is with a great sense of loss that I inform you that despite drastic 
efforts to cut expenses and raise emergency funds, the IAJE Board has voted to 
file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy Law. I want to 
thank profusely those who responded with their generous donations and offers of 
assistance following my last communication. While over 250 individuals 
contributed just over $12,000, this, along with the many other efforts and 
contributions of IAJE staff, Board members, and association partners, was simply not 
enough to address the accumulated debt of the organization or its urgent 
need for cash relief.

In the next few days, a Kansas bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee to 
oversee all ongoing aspects of the association. This includes the ability to 
examine IAJE's financial records and mount an independent inquiry into the 
causes of it's financial downfall as well as disposing of the remaining assets of 
the association with proceeds distributed to creditors in accordance with 
Kansas and Federal law. The board will no longer be involved in operation of 
the organization and will at some point resign. IAJE as it presently stands 
will no longer exist. 

Approximately a week after filing, all potential creditors of the 
association will receive notice of the association's filing from the court. Members who 
desire additional information regarding the petition, including a complete 
listing of association assets and liabilities, may retrieve this, as it is a 
public document, through normal court procedures. Undoubtedly, however, you 
will have more immediate questions deserving of responses I hope to address in 
this report.

Since the first communication to the membership outlining this crisis, there 
has been considerable public speculation as to its causes. As noted in that 
communication, years of dependence upon the conference as a primary (but 
unreliable) revenue stream and the launch of a well-intentioned capital campaign 
(the Campaign for Jazz), which generated a meager response but required 
considerable expenditures in advance of contributions, drove the association into 
insolvency. Sadly, the attendance at the conference in Toronto (the lowest in 
10 years) exacerbated an already critical situation, depriving the 
association of the cash-flow needed to continue daily operations as well as the time 
needed to seek alternative resources.

While ultimately not able to skirt the financial land mines placed in its 
path, I want to assure you the IAJE Board has acted responsibly, ethically, and 
with a sense of urgency ever since it was blindsided last fall with the 
discovery of the extent of the accumulated association debt. Since that time, the 
board slashed spending, set specific performance targets for the Executive 
Director, sought outside consultations, and enlisted the services of several 
past-presidents and strategic association partners in attempts to raise funds 
- sadly, with minimal success.

It goes without saying, the board you elected is comprised of very 
accomplished, intelligent, and dedicated educators and professionals who have given 
generously of their time in service to this association and care about it 
passionately. Likewise, our entire professional staff, led by Associate Executive 
Director, Vivian Orndorff, and Executive Producer, Steve Baker, has worked 
heroically in the face of declining resources to meet the needs of the 
association and its members. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank both the 
board and staff for their service. I have been privileged and honored to serve 
with them. While there may be those who question specific decisions or 
strategies in efforts to meet this crisis, the dedication and integrity of these 
individuals should never be in doubt.

As we move forward, one of the most pressing questions is how the operations 
of individual chapters and affiliated associations will be affected by this 
filing. Since our chapters are either separate corporate entitles or 
voluntary associations with their own boards, constitutions and bylaws; IAJE views 
them as completely independent entities. Ultimately, however, the trustee and 
the court will make this determination and it is anticipated that the trustee 
may request certain information from the chapters in this regard.

Sadly, the 2009 IAJE International Conference in Seattle has been cancelled. 
However, there has been some discussion of mounting a regional conference in 
its place. At the moment, Lou Fischer, U.S. Board Representative is fielding 
inquiries: _ljazzmanf at yahoo.com_ (mailto:ljazzmanf at yahoo.com) .

For the time being, the IAJE website will remain up. However, the 
international offices of IAJE will close their doors at the end of the day on Friday, 
April 18th. Should there be additional questions you may submit them to 
_info at iaje.org_ (mailto:info at iaje.org) and every attempt will be made to respond 
to these as staffing allows.

Today, we, the members of IAJE and the global jazz community, face an 
extremely important task. For, as we all recognize, the opportunities, impact, and 
work of this association are too vital to simply disappear. Whether you were 
first drawn to IAJE for its conference, its magazine or research 
publications, its student scholarship programs such as Sisters in Jazz or the Clifford 
Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars, its Teacher Training Institutes, the resources 
provided through its website or Resource Team, or any one of a number of other 
offerings; it is clear the mission of IAJE still resonates and its advocacy is 
needed today more than ever. We must, therefore, look at this as an 
opportunity to refocus the mission, scope, programs, and vision of IAJE (or whatever 
succeeds it) to better meet the needs of our members and the jazz community not 
only today but looking toward the future.

I am, in no way, suggesting the membership turn a blind eye towards the need 
for an independent inquiry into causes and ultimately assigning 
responsibility for this situation. I ask you recognize the court appointed trustee, who 
will have access to all necessary documents and facts, is charged with that 
task. Our efforts and our passion, should be to collectively rally the 
community to recognize the importance IAJE has had and continues to have in the life 
and development of jazz and jazz education - seeking new strategic 
partnerships, new government structures, and a revitalized mission that embraces 
current needs.

Already there are efforts to do just that. I know that Mary Jo Papich, who 
would have begun serving her term as President of IAJE beginning this July, is 
dedicated to recreating such an association. As many know, Mary Jo has been 
a tireless advocate for IAJE, serving it long and well. You will, 
undoubtedly, be hearing from her in the near future. When she does contact you, I urge 
you to join me in offering her every support and assistance. Of course, others 
may also seek to fill this void by promoting alternative visions for 
empowering, serving, and gathering the jazz community. While I generally believe 
such diversity is quite healthy, I would strongly encourage all such efforts and 
leaders to attempt to collaborate and seek ways to unite us in spirit and 

Finally, I would encourage you to recognize and remember IAJE for all the 
tremendous good it has done in the past 40 years. Many individuals have 
contributed along the way, often at considerable personal sacrifice of their time 
and resources, to establish and advance the work of this association. Much has 
been achieved that can never be taken away! Therefore, the vision, effort, 
and shared passion that have fueled the growth of IAJE and its programs should 
not be forgotten or considered in vain. Rather, the spirit that is IAJE must 
be rekindled into a new vision for the future. 


The IAJE Board - Chuck Owen, President

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