[JPL] Curtain Falls On JVC Jazz Festival New York

POWDERSPAM at aol.com POWDERSPAM at aol.com
Fri May 1 10:59:23 EDT 2009

i hadn't seen this posted yet. very sad indeed.
Curtain Falls On JVC Jazz Festival New York
Posted:  April 28, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) -- The curtain has fallen on the JVC Jazz  Festival New York, 
and the Big Apple will likely be without a flagship jazz  festival until 
new sponsorship emerges.  
A spokesman for the Japanese electronics company said it  would not be 
sponsoring any jazz events in 2009, ending what he called "a  productive and 
successful relationship" dating back to 1984 when JVC first  attached its name 
to the New York  festival. 
"JVC is proud of its association with the Jazz Festivals,  but the 
marketplace in which JVC competes today has changed dramatically, and so  JVC has 
chosen to take our promotional activities in a different direction, and  one 
that will no longer include jazz event sponsorship," Terry Shea, a spokesman  
for the New Jersey-based JVC U.S.A., said in a statement e-mailed to The  
Associated Press. 
Jazz impresario George Wein, who arranged the original  JVC sponsorship 
deal, called JVC "the best sponsor anybody ever  had." 
Instead of a festival, the 83-year-old Wein is producing  under his own 
name three concerts at Carnegie Hall in late June, when the JVC  event usually 
takes place. He chose performers he was confident could fill the  costly 
venue -- British singer-pianist Jamie Cullum and Diana  Krall. 
"I booked artists that I knew I could do on my own  without a festival, 
without a sponsor, and at least not get hurt," said Wein in  a telephone 
interview from his  Manhattan  home. 
Last year's two-week JVC Jazz Festival New York featured  nearly 40 
concerts -- including 11 in Carnegie Hall's two main performance  spaces with such 
artists as Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti and Joao Gilberto --  plus nearly 200 
additional events at clubs, schools, museums and other  venues. 
In 2007, Wein sold his company, Festival Productions --  whose lineup 
included the JVC-sponsored festivals in  Newport, Rhode  Island, and New  York -- 
to the Festival Network, which retained Wein in  an advisory capacity. 
But Festival Network ran into financial trouble. Wein  said he had stopped 
working with the group and earlier this year,  Rhode Island's Department of  
Environmental Management terminated Festival Network's contract to present 
the  Newport jazz and folk festivals  because of late payments. Wein put up 
his own money and obtained a license from  state and local authorities to 
produce the two festivals this  summer. 
Wein said he felt a less pressing need to put on a  festival in New York, 
where in any  given week there are dozens of jazz events in clubs and other  
"Going back to  Newport was a much more personal  thing for me because 
Newport was  something I founded in 1954," said Wein, who launched the country's 
first jazz  festival in the Rhode Island  seaside resort. 
New York City still has one June jazz festival, the  modestly budgeted 
avant-garde Vision Festival XIV at an arts center on the Lower  East Side, but 
founder Patricia Nicholson Parker said it would be "kind of  foolish to see 
it as a replacement" for the more mainstream JVC event. In  upstate New York, 
three  long-running jazz festivals will take place in June -- in  
Rochester,  Syracuse and  Saratoga  Springs. 
Chris Shields, executive chairman of Festival Network,  insisted in an 
e-mail that his company "has every expectation of producing  another outstanding 
NYC Jazz Festival in 2009. Announcements and details will be  forthcoming." 
But several jazz industry insiders said they were not  aware of any plans 
for such a festival. Spokespersons for two leading jazz  labels, Blue Note 
and Concord, said  they did not know of any of their artists participating in 
a  New York City jazz festival this  summer. 
"We are having no dialogue with them (Festival Network)  about any of our 
artists for any events that they are producing or affiliated  with in any 
way," said Jack Randall, vice president of A&R for Boston-based  Ted Kurland 
Associates, a leading booking agency which handles dozens of jazz  artists 
including the Marsalis family, Sonny Rollins and Ornette  Coleman. 
Wein first launched a major jazz festival in  New York in 1972. JVC became 
the  festival's main sponsor in 1984. 
Wein said he has already reserved dates at Carnegie Hall  for June 2010 in 
hopes that he will be able to present a full-fledged festival  next summer 
if he can line up new sponsorship: "I would like to keep the  festival 

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