Conservatorium van Amsterdam cofounds International Association to advance Jazz

Danilo Pérez

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At the Panama Jazz Festival in January, a new international organization was formed by five of the world's most prestigious conservatories and music colleges to prepare young musicians to be-come ambassadors for jazz in and beyond their communities. The Global Association for Inter connective Arts (GAIA)-comprised of Berklee Global Jazz Institute, the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music at The New School in New York, the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and the Siena Jazz Academy-will explore, define, and implement new ways of educating music students.

Led by Danilo Pérez, founder and artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, and representatives from each of the schools, the GAIA's primary goal is the creation of a new cultural ecosystem to nurture sustainable careers for future generations of artists across the globe.

' Our hope is that the GAIA will foster an international platform that inspires young artists to find adventurous proposals of great pedagogical, artistic, and social significance, help-ing us rise to the challenge of living in peace, with dignity, justice, and freedom,' said Pérez.

' The students, administrators, and faculty at The New School are all thrilled to be working with the incredible partner schools that have come together to form GAIA,' says Keller Coker, Dean of The New School's School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. 'We look forward to hearing the music that comes from this, and hope the collaborative work that these students will engage in will become a model for other collaborations in fields in and out of the arts.' 

'We encourage students to become ambassadors of music,' said Edo Righini, Deputy Director and Head of the Jazz and Pop music departments at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, 'who inspire excellence, bridge cultural and ethnic differences, and create music that serves as a social experience.'

'While remaining aware of the syncretism of music's origins to the numerous possible interactions between disciplines and diverse cultures, a musician might be able to invent a new music and new models of sharing knowledge as a socially committed artist,' said Riccardo del Fra, Head of the Jazz Department at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris.

Initial activities for the partnership will include the creation of an ensemble consisting of students selected from each of the member institutions who embody artistry, individuality, and a dedication to their craft. The group will perform and study across the globe starting in March 2019 with a tour in the Netherlands recording and performing at venues such as the Bimhuis in Amsterdam.

They will be ambassadors for the progressive values of the partner institutions, including diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice. Students will study, play, and perform together, as well as visit and collaborate with music schools and centers for social inclusive-ness, including at hospitals, refugee centers, and more. Students and their mentors will become spokespeople for music that bears a message of respect and peace and that makes individuals aware of a musical community that connects and heals people.

In addition to touring, the GAIA will offer a dynamic learning environment with opportunities for dialogue and active social engagement to promote interconnectivity in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

'Through awareness and empowerment we motivate our students to find their own identity and realize their full potential as musicians, global thinkers and world citizens,' added Pérez. 'We will offer them perspectives that transcend categorization and stereotypes, while fostering a learning environment where fulfilling artistic, social, and intellectual experiences interconnects and shapes the personality of a new global musician.'