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Vol 58 No. 4 : April 2006
Vol 58 No. 4 : April 2006
Jazz Institute Honored

The California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz (CIPJ), headquartered at CSULB, was recognized in February by the California State Legislature for its 10th anniversary. State Sen. Alan Lowenthal introduced a resolution congratulating the CIPJ in the senate in conjunction with the CIPJ-sponsored all-state jazz festival held that same month in Sacramento.

“We’re very pleased to be recognized,” said Richard Birkemeier, CIPJ director and member of the university music faculty since 1985. “The CIPJ continues to do its part to bring jazz to a new generation of young people here in California.”

The CIPJ is a CSU systemwide educational organization created by act of the state legislature in 1994 sponsored by Assembly member Willard H. Murray Jr. of Paramount. The institute currently includes 16 CSU campuses actively collaborating on governance as well as educational, artistic, outreach and scholarly activities associated with jazz in California. “Its mission is to preserve and promote the great American cultural heritage and social history of jazz music by building a bridge to diverse communities through education and research,” said Birkemeier.

Past CIPJ honors include the Louis Armstrong Fellowship, a national award from the International Association for Jazz Education, in 2002 for its middle-school outreach program titled “Jazz for Today, Jazz for Tomorrow.” The institute currently partners with ArtsBridge International at CSULB on continuing programs of community outreach. The CIPJ also has produced dozens of concerts by such jazz artists as Kenny Garrett, Billy Taylor, Gerald Wilson and the Gerry Mulligan All-Stars. Also, the institute has produced statewide jazz festivals in tribute to Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and the current 4th Annual All State Collegiate Jazz Festival held in Sacramento in honor of Joe Henderson.

“The institute achieves its mission through preservation, performance, outreach and education via a statewide network of educational institutions and individuals,” added Birkemeier. “The Institute’s goal is to provide the environment and resources to return jazz to its rightful place as a significant and respected part of California’s culture.”

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