News

2019 President's Letters


ARE WE DOING THIS ALL WRONG?

Are We Doing This All Wrong? by Todd Stoll For those of us who work in jazz, whether it’s performing, teaching, advocating, or retail sales, we hear or say “how’d did they sound” at least ten times a day. We can be referring to bands, individuals, auditions, gigs, solos, recordings, videos; the list goes on […]

Read more

JAZZ CONDUCTING

Jazz Conducting by Todd Stoll  As the new school year begins and aspiring musicians head back to the classroom, the air is full of the anticipation and enthusiasm one would expect. Directors have programmed their year full of great music to be heard at concert performances, festivals and competitions. My mind goes to the part […]

Read more

WHY DON’T WE TEACH LOUIS ARMSTRONG?

WHY DON’T WE TEACH LOUIS ARMSTRONG? by Todd Stoll Why don’t we teach Louis Armstrong? Nearly 20 years ago, after attending a lecture commemorating the centennial of the birth of Louis Armstrong, I asked a very well-regarded trumpet player and a renowned scholar, why don’t we teach Louis Armstrong? “Well..” he stammered, “it’s just too […]

Read more

DIVERSITY

DIVERSITY by Todd Stoll A year ago, my second President’s letter addressed a topic I feel is vital to the future of our music and our country; diversity. Unlike my eleven other messages, it was met with a deafening silence; I received only two communications from colleagues in support of (or against) my position. Part […]

Read more

TAKE YOURSELF TO SUMMER CAMP!

TAKE YOURSELF TO SUMMER CAMP! by Todd Stoll Ahhhh…warmer weather, sunshine, languid days, kids heading off — all signs that summer is just about here! While perusing a popular jazz magazine, I noticed there were almost 25 pages of summer camps for students.  That’s an amazing resource for musicians with a desire to improve their […]

Read more

SOME THOUGHTS ON JAZZ COMPETITIONS

SOME THOUGHTS ON JAZZ COMPETITIONS by Todd Stoll It feels a little odd to be discussing competitions in the days right before I host one of the most competitive and perhaps well-known events in the country, Essentially Ellington. Or maybe it’s perfect.  I’ve experienced almost every level of participation at our jazz competitions, from “loser” […]

Read more

WHY TEACH JAZZ?

WHY TEACH JAZZ? by Todd Stoll Happy National Jazz Appreciation Month! I encourage all of our members to go to the JAM website to find ways to celebrate and share the music we support and love. Our close friend and colleague, John Hasse,  Curator Emeritus of American Music at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History […]

Read more

The All-State Hustle

THE ALL-STATE HUSTLE by Todd Stoll DISCLAIMER: I am not against new music. I am in favor of new music, and believe jazz has contemporary relevance in modern society. I am not against new music. But, it’s state conference season, so let’s take some time to discuss our all state jazz bands. After you read […]

Read more

OUR CONFERENCE, OUR COMMUNITY

OUR CONFERENCE, OUR COMMUNITY by Todd Stoll Our Conference, Our Community I write this as I reflect back on the 10th annual JEN conference that recently took place in Reno, Nevada. I am so excited to participate this year as President as we move JEN into its next decade. So many important milestones have been […]

Read more