President’s Letter: November 2022

Jazz Summit 2022 Recap

When it comes to memorable moments, this year’s Summit delivered, as usual. My favorite moment? Watching Jazzmeia Horn, who flew in from Korea in time to deliver her presentation, transform from weary traveler to dynamic keynote speaker. More than talking about drive and entrepreneurship, she demonstrated it to the rapt audience gathered at the University of the Arts.

The Summit certainly gave audiences good reasons to gather. The content was not only compelling, but it was also largely community-driven. I was excited to see the sessions that historian Dr. Diane D. Turner and recording artist Jawanza Kobie imagined come to life. The Town Hall on building a new jazz economy was laden with information from the community as well as the expert panelists. The inaugural graduates of our CORE Cooperative did an amazing job facilitating a timely music business discussion. In fact, I was furiously taking notes from these emerging artists who had been my students. Full circle.

CORE members also performed at the Directors’ Reception. The special celebration, co-presented by Mid-Atlantic Arts at SouthSide, was a success. Best moment? When we presented Bob Perkins with our first Hometown Heroes Award, songstress Denise King left us teary-eyed singing “Here’s To Life” to the WRTI luminary.

The Summit ended with our annual Homecoming Jam at the Kimmel Cultural following a mesmerizing performance by Jazzmeai Horn in Verizon Hall. Luke O’Reilly and the all-star ensemble did a wonderful job performing music in the plaza from the hot-off-the-presses Philadelphia Real Book.

If you’re starting to feel left out of some of these memorable moments, don’t worry. We captured in-person Summit sessions via the University of the Arts livestream. You can view them here (look at the righthand side list of videos). Stay tuned for the release of videos from the Zoom sessions. The release of Summit content will be part of a larger Jazz Philadelphia effort to equip the members of our community with a “tool-kit” of information to move their careers forward.

Finally, the Summit would not be possible without the support of our board, donors, sponsors, partners, host venues, speakers, and staff. Thank you for helping us serve a community that deserves to be heard and supported.

With Gratitude,

Gerald Veasley
President, Jazz Philadelphia