(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A new jazz conference seeks to determine what role jazz can play in today’s society, and it has tapped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as its keynote speaker.

Jazz Congress will hold its inaugural event on Jan. 11 in New York City. While Abdul-Jabbar is best known as a Hall of Fame basketball legend, he’s also become a cultural commentator and has long been a jazz enthusiast; his father was a trombonist.

Abdul-Jabbar will discuss what role jazz can play in the cultural, political and social framework of today’s society.

The goal of the Jazz Congress is to boost the jazz community, which has dwindled over the decades. The conference will be held at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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