[JPL] My take on BAM

Ed Trefzger ed.trefzger at jazzweek.com
Fri Jan 13 12:13:41 EST 2012

Unfortunately, some of jazz's biggest proponents have done a lot to hurt how it is perceived. 

When we talk about "keeping jazz alive" we make it sound like it's about to die, while it is as vibrant as ever, even as it is not as popular as it once was. 

When we play jazz that sounds like it's old and musty (and that's not to say that we shouldn't play classics) we make it sound like it's dying. (I think of Joe Vella's essay on this from a few months back.)

When we try but fail to create the jazz equivalent of the CMA, we have no marketing proponent for it.

When we have jazz festivals whose headliners are anything but jazz, we dilute it.

There are any number of artists who are innovative, engaging and attractive to young audiences and ears. I see young folks -- real music fans -- digging this stuff at festivals. (I won't name artist names here, but some who've been mentioned in this thread fit.)

Jazz as a "brand" for this music doesn't need to be replaced. But jazz seriously needs a brand relaunch.


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