[members-announce] Latin Jazz letter to the IAJE

LatinJazzClub info at latinjazzclub.com
Mon Jan 19 02:51:13 EST 2004

This letter was written by musicians and publisher of LatinJazzClub Magazine Bobby Ramirez and submitted to the IAJE excutive board members on December 29th, 2003. It is now submitted for public record to any interested parties for review and debate. The IAJE will be holding their annual conference this week in NYC.
Dear International association of Jazz Educators (executive board)

I've been an on-and-off member of the IAJE for many years, from the time I studied under Richard Dunbscum at Florida International University and Dr. J.B. Dyas at Miami Dade Community College.

I recently renewed my membership to the IAJE with a new company I've created called Latin Sheet Music Corp. I'm also a current member of the Jazz Journalist Association, and publisher of LatinJazzClub Magazine (http://www.latinjazzclub.com).

Something that concerns me a great deal is the role of Latin music in Jazz education. In that regard, I've searched your resource team and unfortunately did not find an adequate category for Latin music as it relates to Jazz.

You have "Brazilian Music" and Afro-Cuban Music." Limiting Latin music to these small categories definitely curtails the influence and participation of Latin music as it exist today from not just "Cuba" and "Brazil", but other perhaps less notable but yet equally important countries as they exist as part of the whole entire Latin America Diaspora. In terms of Jazz music as our national American treasure, these categories promote division instead of inclusiveness; thus giving the impression that the IAJE is more interested in the music of Cuba and Brazil. At this time in the history of our music, Jazz music should not be used to promote any one specific Latin American country.

As it relates to Jazz, I'd like to suggest that you eliminate these categories and insert the most current umbrella term that is widely used to describe the relationship of Latin music and Jazz: "Latin Jazz."

This has nothing to do with the individuals currently spearheading these categories. These gentlemen are well respected by me and the Jazz community at-large. As a Jazz musician, I see Jazz as being equally inclusive of any and all Latin American influences. If the IAJE is interested in spreading the gospel of Jazz education throughout the entire Latin American Diaspora, it would be wise to give forth a non-exclusive unbiased impression. As the Latin population grows to hugh levels in the United States, the next frontier for Jazz is Latin America.

I invite you to read a more thorough analysis of this issue at:

I'll be attending the 2004 conference this year. Feel free to call me to debate this issue with all related parties.


Bobby Ramirez

cc: IAJE executive board

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