10 – 9 – 8 … 3 – 2 – 1…Launch! Get ready for an Explosion of Growth!

PresidentS' letters

10 – 9 – 8 … 3 – 2 – 1…Launch! Get ready for an Explosion of Growth!

by Sharon Burch, JEN Managing Director

Have you noticed the theme for this year’s conference?

“Now’s the Time! Following a decade of success with a future of growth.”

The theme, penned by JEN President Caleb Chapman, is not a statement of empty or hopeful words, but prophetic. We are launching JEN Signature Chapters and Societies and the membership is growing exponentially!

I became involved in JEN nine years ago because I believed in the mission and I believed in the people leading it—all people volunteering their time and talent with passion and purpose. Thousands of volunteer hours given selflessly to produce an annual event that is talked about the rest of the year. If you have attended a JEN conference, you know what I’m talking about. The love for the music and each other is contagious and you can’t wait to go back. No wonder it’s called “the greatest hang of the year.”

JEN Chapters and Societies make it possible to connect and inspire beyond the conference, creating a momentum that is taking on a life of its own. Already, Alabama JEN Member and one of our first Signature Chapter leaders, Dr. Matt Leder, and the Gadsden State Community College JEN Chapter, produced a successful JEN affiliated festival in November. Julius Tolentino, JEN board member, composer, performer and director at the Newark Academy, New Jersey, is coordinating a JEN festival in June 2018. And that is just the beginning.


Now’s the Time!

Schools and organizations who register as chapters or societies before December 31, 2017, will hold a special designation as a “Signature Chapter” or “Signature Society,” identifying them as the very first to organize and move JEN into this exciting stage of growth!

Launch your Signature Chapter or Society today.

Three easy steps: jazzednet.org/chapters-societies

We’re also in the process of establishing our area units, which will provide support for the chapters, societies, and individual members of a specific geographic region. Area Unit Leaders and Area presidents will meet in a council session at each annual conference to pass ideas on to the JEN Board of Directors, helping shape the direction of JEN rolling forward.


Interested in serving as an Area Unit Leader?

Please indicate your interest on the JEN Chapter & Society enrollment form or send me an email at [email protected].

Coming to the conference? Join us at the JEN Chapters & Societies Information Meeting on Thursday, January 4th at 9 am.

Following a decade of success with a future of growth.

In 2008, the founding members rallied around a vision. With passion and purpose they launched the Jazz Education Network dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performances and developing audiences. As we approach 2018 with the launch of JEN Chapters and Societies and a growing list of member benefits, the vision continues to expand, creating a future of growth with an ever-increasing global network that makes a positive difference in lives through this unique art form called jazz and the people it connects.

Time for a new hashtag: #JENproud

A recipient of the JEN President’s Service Award, JEN Managing Director Sharon Burch has dedicated her life to music education through teaching, speaking, publishing and business. During her 20+ years teaching pre-k through high school vocal and general music, she became a best selling author of the Freddie the Frog® Book series, storybooks that introduce basic concepts of music, including jazz. In addition to serving as the managing director of the Jazz Education Network, Sharon serves as an education consultant for Jazz At Lincoln Center, creating resources designed for teachers who may or may not be trained in America’s art form, introducing jazz to the next generation.

charlotte lang

Swiss/Dutch saxophonist Charlotte Lang was born in 1996 in Basel and studied the bachelor and master program at the JAZZCAMPUS Basel under the guidance of Domenic Landolf and Daniel Blanc. She is currently studying the Master of Music in Global Jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston under the artistic direction of Danilo Pérez. In addition she is part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.


From 2015 to 2018, Charlotte she was a member of the Swiss National Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Christian Muthspiel. Since 2020, she became a member of the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra (Bundesjazzorchester Deutschland), under the direction of Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens. She also plays is the Austrian FJO (Frauen Jazz Orchester→Women Jazz Orchestra of Austria).


In 2021, Charlotte founded her own Quintet the „Charlotte Lang Group“, for what she is composing, arranging and booking. In the fall 2023, her first album will be recorded and hopefully released by a renowned label.


Charlotte plays in the “Swiss Jazz Orchestra” and the “Zurich Jazz Orchestra”, the two professional Big Bands of Switzerland.

Charlotte recently got the unique opportunity to write a monthly blog for the Swiss Jazz & Blues Magazine called JAZZTIME, to tell readers about her time at abroad and specifically her time at Berklee. Her graduate program lasts only until the summer of 2023. She hopes to stay in the United States to enlarge her network and build her musical career.