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HomeJazz Conference 2016

Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice

Sunday July 31 – Wednesday August 3, 2016

Salve Regina University -  Newport, Rhode Island

JazzJoin NDEO in Newport, Rhode Island, where jazz has come alive every summer since the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954. Together, we will explore jazz dance from its roots to many contemporary offshoots while enjoying the beautiful facilities and views of our oceanfront host, Salve Regina University. Inspired by Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches (University of Florida Press: 2014), edited by Lindsay Guarino and Wendy Oliver, this conference will look at jazz dance broadly through movement workshops and conversations, inviting dialogue that connects the past, present, and future of jazz. 

Special Guest Presenters include Bob Boross, Danny Buraczeski, Thom Cobb, Moncell Durden, Melanie George, Karen Hubbard, Darwin Prioleau, Billy Siegenfeld, and Sheron Wray

Add Jazz Music to Your Newport Visit!Arrive a few days early and catch the world famous Newport Jazz Festival. The event encompasses 3 full days of music 7/29-7/31 at Fort Adams State Park. While admission is not included in conference registration, Salve Regina is offering heavily discounted lodging options to conference attendees for the festival weekend. For more, click here.


Jazz dance today is somewhat of an enigma, meaning many different things to many different people. Some people are loyal to the authentic jazz of the Jazz Era when dance and music were inseparable entities that stood firmly in West African roots while reflecting the American spirit. Other people identify jazz dance as a theatrical style heavily reliant on ballet-based movement and suited for Broadway and concert dance stages. Still others see jazz as a commercial form of dance that reflects popular culture while absorbing myriad global influences. As we look at the dance landscape today it is exciting to recognize that jazz in its many manifestations is a truly American art form that is deeply ingrained and ever-present in our culture. Join us in Newport to decipher the true meaning of jazz as it embodies so many seemingly contradictory personalities.


Conference Schedule (subject to change)

Unless otherwise noted, meals are on your own. Miley Dining Hall on Salve Regina campus serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at reasonable prices.

To view the full schedule, click here.

Sunday, July 31

  • Afternoon - Pulse of Jazz Discussions
  • Evening - celebratory New England Clambake and dancing by the sea

Monday, August 1

  • Morning - Jazz Roots Movement Sessions
  • Afternoon - Movements Sessions and Discussions
  • Early Evening - Improv Jam in the Rose Garden (cash bar and snacks)

Tuesday, August 2

  • Morning - Jazz Branches Movement Sessions
  • Afternoon -Movements Sessions and Discussions

Wednesday, August 3

  • Morning - Synchronicity of Roots and Branches Movement and Discussion
  • Closing Movement Celebration
  • Conference concludes by 1:00 pm
Photo Credits: Photo by Kim Fuller. Courtesy of Salve Regina University.