[JPL] Consider the ironies

Bob Rogers rwsfin at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 3 08:28:48 EDT 2006

                                                             Consider the 

1.  The world’s largest gathering of advocates for jazz is the annual 
convention of the International Association of Jazz Educators, an 
organization representing an academic field that scarcely existed a few 
years ago.  The expansion of jazz education is surely one of the most 
striking success stories in either jazz or academia over the past 30 years.  
A burgeoning body of young players, many of them highly gifted.  What could 
be attracting them?  It certainly can’t be the money or the benefits package 
(except in some highly abstract, nearly unaffordable sense).  Could the 
appeal of improvised music itself possibly account for all this interest and 
passion from young musicians?  Hmmm….

2.  Jazz on the radio comes mostly via public stations.  But the biggest 
success story in public radio belongs to news and public affairs/talk 
programming.  One of the  biggest current trends is for more hours of 
news/talk programming, often at the expense of jazz programming, which is 
vulnerable because of its inability to attract a younger audience, a vital 
survival task that news/talk itself is not very good at either.  If only 
jazz programming could attract younger listeners the way jazz education 
attracts young players…

If in January you go to the IAJE in New York, you can hear a lot of live 
music, and not just in the convention’s two hotels.  It’s great to go to the 
Blue Note, Birdland, the Vanguard – all those iconic and still really great 
places to hear music.  But while you’re there, you’d do well to check out 
places such as Small’s, The 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Cafe, Tonic, the Stone 
or any one of several new jazz clubs in Brooklyn.  It’s a noticeably younger 
crowd with a slightly different sensibility, yet the same as jazz ever was – 
a good mixture of passionate, gifted players, some seasoned and others less 
so, but all looking for and sometimes finding, their voices.  Notice how 
they’re playing to younger audiences.  Maybe you should take a jazz student 
to lunch.

Things ain’t what they used to be, or are they?  I don’t mean to be 
repetitious, but again, consider the ironies.

Bob Rogers
2816 Barmettler Street
Raleigh, NC 27607
WSHA - www.wshafm.org
Bouille & Rogers Consultants
email: rwsfin at hotmail.com
phone: (919) 413-4126

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