5Music Rights 500


The International Music Council, the IMC, is affiliated with UNESCO. The organization is a network of music networks around the world. The IMC celebrated its 70 years of existence in September 2019. Among the many projects and plans the IMC is involved with, promoting, defending, and raising awareness of the 5 music rights is at the core of their attention.

The IASJ is member of the IMC since 2003. Every two years the IMC organizes a World Forum on Music. About 200 participants are present to participate in presentations, round tables and concert. The IASJ participated in the World Forum on Music in Tunis, Beijing, Brisbane and Paris.

What does the music right mean in the world of jazz?
1: Every musician has the right to play any style of jazz. Any music can be labelled jazz. No style of jazz can be forbidden, oppressed or excluded.
2: Everyone should be able to learn and appreciate jazz and have access to jazz education at all levels.
3: Everyone should have the ability a play together, to form jazz ensembles, to perform and have access to performance places.
4: Jazz artists should be facilitated to reach their audiences through and with the help of all existing media. Public radio and television should not exclude jazz.
5. The works of jazz artists must be recognized as works of art. Jazz artists must be properly paid for their efforts.

In the discussions the term of musical ‘ecosystem’ pops up. Many people feel that the system is not well balanced. The musical right is not properly implemented in all fields of music. Not everybody has access to affordable music lessons, music instruction and affordable concerts. Not all jazz musicians are properly represented in all media and do not obtain reasonable salaries for the works they create and perform.

Compared to other fields of music, jazz is very poorly organized. Very few jazz musicians are active in self-created organizations such as platforms, pressure groups, unions. The jazz world has no voice. In order to improve and repair the mistakes in the music ecosystem, the jazz musicians should become aware of the problem of under-organization, and start to get organized, bottom-up. The IASJ should not do this for the world of jazz but should give support and show examples where possible.

Wouter Turkenburg
IASJ Executive Director
Fall 2019




The IASJ is a long standing member of the IMC, the International Music Coucil, affiliated with UNESCO.

The IASJ, founded in 1989, brought together over 3000 jazz students, teachers and directors from all over the world.