A Roadmap of Current Legal Realities for the Jazz Professional

Ben Allison (bassist, composer, producer, educator), Ali Sachedina (General Counsel, Saavn), Matthew Covey (Tamizdat, CoveyLaw)

Saturday, January 5th - 2:00pm

The Assemblage, 17 John Street NYC

All Ages

This panel will examine recent changes in the world’s legal landscape, and how those changes affect jazz musicians, presenters, labels, managers, and agents. Ben Allison will introduce four hot-button topics, and lead the panelists through a conversation about what jazz professionals need to know, and what best practices are emerging for dealing with today’s legal landscape.

• The Music Modernization Act, what it means to artists and labels, and how to make the most of it

• GDPR, and how to not misuse your fans’ data

• US Visas, the travel ban, and how they impact your work with foreign musicians

• Changes at the IRS, how they impact US and foreign jazz professionals, and what you can do about it

Jazz and Gender:
Finding Solidarity 

Toshi Reagon, Roxy Coss, Vanessa Reed, Maria Grand, Fay Victor, John Murph, and co-moderated by Sarah Elizabeth Charles and Nate Chinen

Sunday January 6th - 2:00pm

The Assemblage, 17 John Street NYC

All Ages

The issues around sexual harassment, discrimination and gender bias in jazz have been a focus of conversation in recent years, taking on additional momentum in the #MeToo era. Winter Jazzfest supports the Keychange initiative, which seeks to achieve gender balance in festival programming, and has engaged with these ideas in previous panels. This one poses a pressing question: What does it mean to be an ally in the jazz community, at this point in time? Co-moderated by vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles and critic Nate Chinen, the panel will include artist representatives from the We Have Voice collective and the Women in Jazz Organization, Keychange Founder Vanessa Reed — as well as musicians seeking to further develop and exist as allies in the conversation around gender relations and identify. 

Conjure, Conjecture:
The Art of Evocation

Meshell Ndegeocello, Ralph Peterson, Theo Bleckmann, and moderated by Nate Chinen 

Saturday January 12th - 2:00pm

The Assemblage, 17 John Street NYC

All Ages

What does it mean to sing in another’s voice? To channel another’s presence, without losing sight of your own? This session will explore the promise and the perils of musical evocation with three trailblazing artists: Winter Jazzfest artist-in-residence Meshell Ndegeocello, whose most recent album, Ventriloquism, is a master treatise on the subject; drummer and composer Ralph Peterson, who comes to the festival with The Messenger Legacy, a tribute to his mentor Art Blakey; and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, who has done wondrous work with the music of Kate Bush, among others. Moderating the talk is Nate Chinen, music critic and editorial director at WBGO. 


Winter Jazzfest explicitly supports social and racial justice, gender equality, and immigrant rights by presenting courageous socially engaged artists who have urgent and beautiful musical messages to share. Directly addressing the sense of crisis confronting our nation, the festival stands firmly with #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, and #wehavevoice, and seeks to address discrimination, sexism, immigration injustice and other issues deeply threatening this inclusive music community and beyond.



As a fervent supporter of gender equality, NYC Winter Jazzfest is proud to join Keychange– a European music industry initiative for gender parity. NYCWJF is one of only two North American festivals pledging to participate.

Pledging our continued gender balanced programming, we hope our progress acts as a beacon to inspire other music festivals beyond our jazz community.
— Brice Rosenbloom, Winter Jazzfest Founder