[JPL] My take on BAM

Arturo Gomez arturo at kuvo.org
Thu Jan 12 11:19:46 EST 2012

I don't have a problem renaming what we know as jazz to increase audience and attract younger listeners who may be turned off by the name due to misconceptions. I strongly believe that music videos that have became the main source of listening for the generations since the mid-80s when MTV  took over, has changed the attraction of music for those raised in that period of time, it's more visual than audio. Although hip hop for the most part now has become rap and a producer dominated genre, since hip hop emerged in the late 1970s it's been the most influential music and cultural genre since jazz in the 1920s. Hip hop has changed mainstream media of all types included those conducted by and aimed at audience who want nothing to do with hip and its listeners, you can't get away from the influence of hip hop, it's everywhere. Black American culture has always been the most dominant influence on culture and the Arts going back to colonial times. I once read an account of an Irish musicologist who visited the US in the early 1800s to investigate the state of irish immigrants and music in the States. He wrote that although still Irish in essence, Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans' music has African influences, he even claimed that their conversation included many "Africanisms" or "Black slang"

That said, I don't like the name BAM, although I don't have anything against the concept of renaming or adding an addendum to the genre jazz. Black American Music is misleading, because jazz was created from many elements-although mostly African and African American in its truest definition, it has a strong Afro-Cuban, Afro-Caribbean, Mexican and European influence, New Orleans has always been the Caribbean port of entry to the US, the Caribbean's northernmost city. Jazz is a melting pot made of many ingredients producing something new and improved. No matter which additional ingredients are thrown in the mix, it still remains jazz. One can take any kind of music, genre or ethnic folk music and still play it in a form we'll instantly recognize as jazz. That's why I say every time I am on the air that "jazz is the world's greatest art form.

Ragtime, jass, jazz, swing, bebop etc  it's all good and it's all "jazz". it's all about the music. I don't have a suggestion for a new name, but I'll know what would be better than BAM when I hear it. I will still use jazz and whenever playing the artists calling their music BAM, I'll use as well.

Obviously, this is a complex situation, but then again, hasn't it always been?

Arturo Gómez
Music Director
The Oasis In The City, The Front Range and the High Country!

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