[JPL] Under 40...

David Johnson djohnso2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 8 13:33:27 EST 2007


Having just passed the 40 mark myself, I agree as well with much of this.  I host one show that's devoted to jazz of the 1945-1990 era (& I love that era), but whenever I sit in for our daily host I try to play a fair amount of modern/contemporary (not in the smooth sense of that word) jazz... and I'm hoping to add or launch a show that will be heavily modern, if not all modern.  The younger audience IMO is very open to jazz, especially once folks hit their mid-to-late 20s, but they're not open (again, in my opinion) to rigid definitions about what is & isn't jazz, etc.  I'm not advocating dumbing or watering down the programming, just saying that anything from Norah Jones to out/improv may well end up being considered "jazz" by many younger listeners.  Whenever I've played some of the "jazz remixed" compilations, the favorable reactions have tended to come from younger listeners.  (Yes, some of that material is gimmicky/trash, but some of it I've found to be interesting
 and good.)  I think one difference with the 25-40 audience is that it's grown up with jazz as a remote form of music, something that they've been conditioned to think of as "it's good for you," but not as a source of musical pleasure.  How to create pleasure for the listener, how to make hipping folks to jazz an experience that's as entertaining as it is "educational," meanwhile retaining the integrity of the music and the programming, is a challenge, especially when there are so many other media formats & pastimes competing with seemingly overwhelming force... but it's a great one to have on the plate every day, and I've benefitted immensely from reading the thought-provoking discussions here--particularly the contributions from those who've been in the game for a long time.
  
David Brent Johnson
  Night Lights/Afterglow
WFIU-Bloomington, IN

Music-EastWest <musicew736 at earthlink.net> wrote:
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Andy...
In response to some of your comments...I could not agree more !! 

I also believe a lack of attention in hiring younger radio talent, under 40, especially in public radio needs to change. Stations who program jazz, should look at hiring younger staff if they choose to focus on reaching a wider audience.....

I admit I could be wrong about the age issue, relating to my previous experiences, but then again, I don't hear a lot of younger radio talents out there hosting jazz shows. I think with Mike Adams and I, working with Jeff, are the exception, but they're needs to be more us that should be given that opportunity. Heck, weren't we all young at some point in our lives?

I mentioned this 5 years ago with similar concerns. Most of the people I spoke to in my home town (San Francisco/Bay Area) at that time said no to new types of jazz because their afraid of losing their "old audience". They seem to have this fear of "new music", "new jazz"....Groups like: Jazza Nova, St. Germaine, New Jazz, Weekend Players etc.....

I have always been an advocate of "incorporating" younger "jazz" music with the new but no one seems to "get it" ....so, here we are in the state were in and I quite frankly, feel it's too late. Most (not all) "programmers" would have to "change their way of thinking" "today" and that's just not going to happen. As "that generation" "dies off" so will Jazz and if "they" would just "open up" and put down their egos...jazz may have had hope.

For a lack of better description...jazz is now surviving (like it's own generation) in a "hospice" situation and the days are now numbered. So, I guess it's up to "the younger generation" to "keep it alive" but I'm afraid we're way beyond that now.

Thank god for websites and the internet !!!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andy Cook" 
To: 
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 8:27 AM
Subject: [JPL] Re: Jazz Radio / Listeners under 40

I also believe a lack of attention in hiring younger radio talent, under 40, especially in public radio needs to change. Stations who program jazz, should look at hiring younger staff if they choose to focus on reaching a wider audience.

I admit I could be wrong about the age issue, relating to my previous experiences, but then again, I don't hear a lot of younger radio talents out there hosting jazz shows. I think with Mike Adams and I, working with Jeff, are the exception, but they're needs to be more us that should be given that opportunity. Heck, weren't we all young at some point in our lives?

Andy Cook
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