There are many Institutes of Applied Sciences. Abbreviation IAS. There is only one International Association of Schools of Jazz. Abbreviation IASJ. What are the connections and what are the differences?

A good example is the Institute of Applied Science at the University of North Texas. The goals of the institute are well explained at their website:

Why do I take this university and it's Institute of Applied Science as an example? Anyone seriously involved in jazz knows about the jazz department of the University of North Texas The core of that jazz department is the big band, a lot of them, and the best in the USA if not in the world. The One O'clock Big Band has won all competitions there are. The Two O'clock Big Band as well. A long time ago I attended a full day of presentations of all their big bands, starting with the 12 O'clock Big Band... at noon.

Until well in the afternoon, I was thinking to myself: 'My Royal Conservatory Big Band at home in The Hague, The Netherlands, is better'. That band performed in the main halls at the North Sea Jazz Festival, not at the entrance where they sell tickets and food. Conductors: Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Holman, Rob McConnell, Bob Mintzer, and later Maria Schneider and Jim McNeely. When the 4 O'clock Big Band had performed, I was not so sure anymore. The last 3 big bands at North Texas State University left me in complete awe.

The next day Paris Rutherford, an esteemed professor at UNT, showed me the big band library. I had never seen so much space dedicated to big band sheet music. And I was not even allowed in the special Stan Kenton room with all of his original sheet music. Paris Rutherford is also a great cook of hamburgers! But what a library!

When it came to appointing a new saxophone professor at my school in The Hague, I appointed John Ruocco. Why? He had played in the One O'clock Big band for a few years. And, of course, be became the conductor of the Royal Conservatory Big Band later on, and performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival many times as well. Such a great performer, educator, big band conductor and friend!

As much as I was and am impressed by the high level of the big bands at UNT, I never got it why they did not joint the IASJ. Why not bring the teachers and students of the UNT in direct contact with international top level players form all over the world? It is great, to play in the One o'clock big band, for a while but you will not be in that band forever. Networking is crucial in jazz at the top level players of these more than excellent bands at NTU should step into the international arena. They need that, jazz needs that.

Another reason I use the jazz department of the UNT example is to show the gap between the performance environment of that university and the applied sciences environment. It is on purpose that I use the word 'environment' since the IAS at NTU is so deeply involved with 'environment'. What not the jazz environment, the jazz community, the jazz micro-cosmos.

I am writing this not to blame or shame anyone or any institution. I am writing this because there is a world to win here. If only forces of applies sciences can be combined with the forces in applied jazz research at North Texas State University, to show the world what can be done, at the same level of the playing of the One O'clock Big Band, we all would win from that. A brilliant final chord would be sounding at many levels, in many metaphoric and also practical ways.













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