Jazz Philadelphia Summit 2021

Awakening to the spirit of music and collaboration

Our 4th Annual Jazz Philadelphia Summit won’t be stopped by a resurgence of the pandemic—because the spirit of music can’t be stopped, even when stages are silent.


For many of us, music is a life force. The air we breathe. The beating heart in our chest. The sound in our heads when we wake, walk, talk, and go about our day. And so at this year’s hybrid event, to be held November 5 and 6, we’ll be honoring our whole selves as musicians, advocates, students, presenters, teachers, and audiences with the theme Awakening.

What does our theme mean to us? 

We’ll be awakening to the need to care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with ample opportunities to discuss and engage with the importance of wellness and health. You need not be a jazz musician. We know that everyone is in need of support right now;

To the need for mutual aid, and the advent of new programs that Jazz Philadelphia believes will help restore connections among musicians of all ages, spark musical collaboration, and create a network of support and encouragement;  

To the idea that the way music is presented, taught, and learned may have changed forever, something we must acknowledge, grieve, and find ways to get beyond—together;  

To the idea that the spirit of music is always with us, giving us sustenance and hope. We hope to invoke the spirit of John Coltrane with some of our programming this year, to help us remember what is possible when we turn ourselves over to the wonder of the universe. 

We want everyone who believes in the spirit of jazz, the spirit of music, and the spirit of art to feel welcome, inspired, and nourished at this event. We welcome the artists, dancers, listeners, actors, dreamers, musicians and others who believe in its power. We welcome you.

Don’t miss the Homecoming Jam

In addition to a new online conference platform that will help us make the online talks, panels, and workshops we offer even easier to enjoy this year—no matter where you are in the country or world—we are also pleased to announced that as long as we’re still permitted to at the time, we’ll be hosting an in-person Homecoming Jam on the evening of November 5th with our partners at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

Expect a star-studded jam filled with Philadelphia musicians across the generations, playing a Philadelphia songbook. We can’t wait to see you, and to experience the spirit and power of live music together. 

It’s time that music came home to our hearts and our stages, so please register today and let us know that you’re ready to awaken, too.  

Same Pay What-You-Will Model, and a Brand New Jazz Expo & Education Fair

If you’re not familiar with the Summit, we encourage you to take a look at some of last year’s sessions and findings on our website. 

This year will again be a pay-what you will model: No one will be turned away for need. Those spaces we offer for free will be subsidized by those individuals, vendors, and sponsors who do have resources available to share with our community. Registration is now open, and we encourage you to tell us that you’ll be there as soon as you can. It not only helps us plan, it gives us encouragement, too. 

See you at the Summit!


If you’re interested in being a part of the Summit as a vendor in our online Jazz Expo & Education Fair or as a Sponsor, please contact Executive Director Heather Shayne Blakeslee at hblakeslee@jazzphiladelphia.org or 215.983.6028.

We would like to thank the Wyncote Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, PECO, and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for being the first to make this event a reality with their financial  support and guidance.