NYC VIBE at Jazz Congress 2018

March 2018 – Jazz took a giant step at Lincoln Center in New York City at the first annual “Jazz Congress” which featured keynote speaker Kareem Abdul Jabbar!

The inaugural Jazz Congress was a collaborative effort by Jazz at Lincoln Center and JazzTimes Magazine. For two days, Jazz Congress brought together artists, media, and industry leaders.

The aim of Jazz Congress was to determine what roles Jazz can play in today’s society – from culture to politics to social engagement. With Panels, workshops, meetings and performances – Jazz Congress also explored new was to expand Jazz audiences. Important topics included shifting audience trends, and how audiences consume music in the digital age. New ways to utilize technology and social media to promote the artists and performances were also discussed.

Jazz is not only America’s music – it’s been the soundtrack to life in New York City since the Roaring Twenties. Many of the world’s most famous Jazz musicians weren’t born in New York City, however these musicians made their mark in this city as recording and performing artists playing clubs and concert halls from Harlem to Swing Street to Greenwich Village.

Though he’s known to the world as a Basketball legend, Kareem Abdul Jabbar has emerged as a respected cultural commentator and author. Kareem was raised in a Jazz household in Harlem and Inwood. Among Kareem’s Jazz heroes include John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis. Kareem’s father, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr. – was a member of the New York City Police Department, and a Jazz musician who attended Julliard. Kareem has written extensively about the influence of Jazz on American culture and his life, and the connections between Jazz and Basketball.

New York City continues as a thriving center for Jazz that reaches out to diverse audiences from all backgrounds and age groups. The musicians, journalists, and educators at Jazz Congress at Lincoln Center are excited about the future of Jazz – from the recording studio to the bandstand!

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!