Monday, August 03, 2009

Bassist/educator Jim Widner elected to
Jazz Education Network board of directors

Bassist and educator Jim Widner has been elected to the board of directors of the Jazz Education Network (JEN), a relatively new organization formed in 2008 not long after the collapse of the International Association of Jazz Educators. JEN's Web site says the group is "dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance and developing new audiences."

The newly elected board has seventeen members who took office on July 1 and will have their first official meeting this week in Columbus, OH. The JEN board of directors includes both full-time educators like Widner (who directs the jazz studies program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and runs several summer jazz camps) and working players with a strong interest in jazz ed, such as bassist John Clayton and trumpeter Terrell Stafford.


Evan said...

I'm a long time listener of WSIE. Ross Gentile's no longer around. EB Stevenson seems to be gone as of late. Every week there seems to be a new person in rotation.

Although it's still primarily jazz, lately there seems to be a tad spiritual flavor creeping in. They have a Sunday nite program masquerading as a Writers poetry corner that is pretty much spiritual tome with old Pop. On public airwaves funded by taxpayer money no less.

I know there was talk earlier this year of changing the format, but I haven't heard anything lately.

Any idea of what's going on over there these days?

Dean Minderman said...

The Sunday-night spoken word program has been on the air for a while, but since I haven't heard it, I can't really comment on the content.

As for what else is going on at WSIE, I have no new information. After the minor flurry of publicity about possible changes to the station erupted this spring, in late May the Alestle (SIU-E campus paper) published a story, essentially saying that "no news is good news," here:

Since then, there have been a few postings on the "Save 88.7" Facebook Group, which is here:

The latest post, from Eric Bueneman (aka EB Stevenson), makes reference to WSIE employees being asked to go on non-paid furloughs, and to a lawsuit involving the station and Ross Gentile. It also says: "The station was transferred from the College of Arts and Sciences to the Department of Marketing and Communication on July 13, 2009. There are no plans to change the format at the station; an advisory committee is being formed to see how they can make WSIE an even more effective Jazz station, as well as an effective marketing tool for SIUE, especially their Department of Jazz Studies." I'll be doing a follow-up post about the situations at WSIE and KFUO in the near future.