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Jazz & Sounds Festival | Gent, Belgium

Beginning in 2010, Gent Jazz Festival, De Bijloke Music Centre, Vooruit Arts Centre, University College Ghent - Faculty of Music and the University College Ghent - Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) will work together in the annual initiative, the Jazz & Sounds Festival. This new festival will focus on the versatility of contemporary music. The first edition takes place from March 22 - 28, 2010.

Improvisation and creation are important mainstays of the Jazz & Sounds Festival combining the interaction from and to jazz, contemporary, classical, alternative rock, electronic music, improvised music, non-western music and more. The festival offers not a linear but an organic whole of concerts each day, where several concerts and performances can coincide. Visitors will have to make choices within the programme or will be guided by the surprise of the moment.

The festival starts March 22 in the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music with Impressions of a Blue Kind, a prestigious project spotlighting students from the faculties of music of Ghent, Tilburg and Maastricht. The next day, March 23, a presentation by Eddy Van Oosthuyse is planned in the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music with soloists from the Brussels Philharmonic showcasing the role of contemporary clarinet in chamber music.

From then on the Jazz & Sounds Festival moves to Arts Centre Vooruit March 25 and 26. The first day starts with a documentary about Han Bennink. The same day Jazz & Sounds delivers a jazz and literature project by trio Ben Sluijs/Jules Deelder/Remco Campert and concerts featuring saxophone player Colin Stetson and the duo of Erik Truffaz/Malcolm Braff. The festival concludes this first day by presenting Hairy Bones with among others Peter Brötzmann and Toshinoro Kondo.

Friday March 26 in Arts Centre Vooruit finds the duo Eric Thielemans/Josse De Pauw in performance, double bass player Joëlle Léandre and the premiere of Flat Earth Society’s new venture with John Watts. Elliott Sharp’s Carbon concludes the Jazz & Sounds Festival in Arts Centre Vooruit.

March 27 and 28 the festival is hosted by Music Centre De Bijloke. Saturday starts with Cage Aria by Françoise Vanhecke. Afterwards, visitors can choose between a documentary on Charlie Haden and a creation by Sophie Allour and Jozef Dumoulin together with drummer Dré Pallemaerts. This project was crafted especially for the Jazz & Sounds Festival in collaboration with the Tourcoing Jazz Festival.

Later that day on the programme, there is Dutch cello player Ernst Reijseger, Spectra with work by Mantovani and Alexandros Markeas, a project by El Negocito Records and Foundation Logos, Fred Van Hove together with Barry Guy and Wilbert de Joode, and a presentation by the students of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music on Julius Eastman conducted by Alexandros Markeas. Ending this festival day is an improvisation workshop by Joëlle Léandre with students of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music and Miroslav Vitous with his Remembering Weather Report.

Sunday March 28, is the last day of Jazz & Sounds and it starts with a concert by Ellery Eskelin and his group. Following this, the students of the University College Ghent, Faculty of Music play John Cage’s Songbooks and attendees can view a documentary on photographer Leonard Herman. Continuing the programme  on  this last day, there is trombone player Wolter Wierbos, a project by El Negocito Records in collaboration with Foundation Logos, and the duo of Ben Sluijs/Tom Van Bauwel exploring the writings of Paul Van Ostaijen. Nadar, Arsis4, Peter Jacquemyn and Jan Pillaert will interpret work by Daan Janssens and Stefan Prins.  Music by Rik De Geyter performing clarinet artistry for Stockhausen’s ‘Little Harlequin’ will be also be presented. Enescu re-Imagined by Lucian Ban & John Hébert is the closing act for the first edition of the Jazz & Sounds Festival. Pianist  Lucian Ban revised the musical legacy of Romanian composer George Enesco and created a bold contemporary jazz composition. Ban gathered an impressive group of musicians from the New York jazz scene around him for this project: among others featured are John Hébert, Nasheet Waits, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri and Ralph Alessi.

On March 22 the University College Ghent – Faculty of Music organises an Open Lab on artistic research in Music Centre De Bijloke. March 26, a panel discussion on the same subject is organised in the Bijloke. Both activities are free and were organised in collaboration with IPEM-UGent, Foundation Logos and Ghent University Association.

Students and teachers of the University College Ghent – Faculty of Fine Arts (KASK) will participate as well in this first edition. Different departments of the faculty helped to create a visual festival identity and installations which serve as communicative machines were created. The Media Art Department confronts visitors to the festival with installations in which sounds, rhythm and timbre call the tune.

Colorado School of Mines Faculty Senate Endorses Amendment 58

Colorado School of Mines- for the Grateful Web

The Faculty Senate of the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) has passed a resolution endorsing Amendment 58, which proposes to create the Colorado Promise Scholarship by eliminating a tax credit for oil and gas companies. The initiative would double the amount of need-based scholarships available to resident students attending public institutions of higher education if approved by Colorado voters in November.

The resolution, proposed by J. Thomas McKinnon, professor of chemical engineering and president of the CSM Faculty Senate, notes the scholarship program would help maintain the affordability of college by offering more aid to lower and middle income families in the state. Roughly two-thirds of Colorado families could qualify opening the doors of college opportunity to many new students. "During my 18 years on the faculty, I've seen a number of heroic students working nearly full-time jobs while trying to study engineering; some have succeeded but many have not," McKinnon said. "By providing better financial aid, we can help students concentrate on their studies and become more productive members of society. A well educated work force is clearly a prudent long-term strategy for ensuring the health of our economy."

By creating the Colorado Promise Scholarship Fund, Amendment 58 will more than double the state's financial aid funding. The scholarships would follow a "shared responsibility" model, taking into consideration how much a family is expected to pay for college, how much the student can contribute, and what is available from Pell and other federal grants.

The measure proposes to repeal a tax credit enacted in the late 1970s to help the energy industry become established in Colorado. The credit allows energy companies to subtract 87.5 percent of their property tax bills from the severance taxes they owe on oil and gas extracted in the state. The credit currently amounts to roughly $300 million a year. According to the Consumer Federation of America, Colorado produced $6.63 billion worth of oil and gas last year, or about 6.2 percent of total U.S. production.

It is estimated the Amendment 58 would raise $250-$325 million a year, with 60 percent going to the Colorado Promise Scholarship Fund. Of the remaining funds,10 percent would be funneled to renewable energy projects, 15 percent to wildlife habitat, and 15 percent to water quality and transportation projects in communities where oil and gas producers operate.

The Faculty Senate at CSM joins a long list of Amendment 58 supporters,  including the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the presidents of the University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University system, Western State College, Metro State College, and the Colorado Community College System, the Associated Students of Colorado, Adams State Board of Trustees, Mesa State College Board of Trustees, Metropolitan State College of Denver Board of Trustees, the University of Northern Colorado Trustees, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Trout Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Colorado Renewable Energy Society.

The CSM Faculty Senate represents the academic faculty at CSM and not the institution as a whole.