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May 13, 2008

IAJE folds

The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will be turned over to a trustee, its assets parceled out to creditors. This is a blow not only to Jazz educators in this country but around the world, not to mention musicians, others in the music business and fans who derived pleasure from attending the annual IAJE conventions.

At least a part of the problem was an ill-advised return to Toronto in January, where attendance was barely above half the average for conferences in New York City and other venues. Faced with a large cash shortage, the IAJE sent a last-ditch fund-raising letter to its members but brought in only about $12,000, which hardly made a dent in liabilities estimated at more than $1 million. Some are now saying that the IAJE, which held its first conference in 1973, overreached itself, especially with a Campaign for Jazz program that never got off the ground.

In a letter to the membership, IAJE President Chuck Owen wrote in part:
”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 its 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.”

Posted by acapnews at May 13, 2008 12:12 AM

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