[JPL] Ignorance of past greatness not limited to jazz

Tom Reney tr at wfcr.org
Wed Mar 14 19:03:10 EDT 2012

For the record, I said a "couple" of kids, which means two, certainly 
not "many" as you wrote below.

I don't know the prof, nor did I know what had been covered before I got 
there.  I could conjecture about his failings, but he may have mentioned 
EKE and let it sail right over their heads.  I always do a reality check 
of this kind just to get my bearings with these youngsters who are being 
groomed to lead.

I would add that neither Ellington nor jazz history nor jazz ensemble 
were even remotely part of the curriculum of the high schools I attended 
1967-'71, and I look skeptically on the claims of others in my 
generation that we were part of some idyllic past in which jazz was 
prominent.  True enough for folks who were teens and/or adults in the 
'40's and '50's, but boomers?  My generation tolled the bell for the 
music; no wonder our kids know so little of jazz or classical or the 
Songbook.  At least the public school I attended in Worcester, through 
the initiative of a couple of its daring teachers, offered a module in 
African American history.


On 3/14/2012 6:29 PM, EdBride at aol.com wrote:
> Although there might be exceptions, I wouldn't normally expect a coach  to
> teach baseball history to the athletes. So, it doesn't shock  me that
> today's 20-something baseball players, regardless of black, white,  yellow, red,
> blue or whatever, didn't know about JR. If they're brought up in  the right
> environment for that, they will retain the information; otherwise, as  Arturo
> points, out, today's youngsters and young adults tend to live in the
> moment.
> However, Tom Reney was speaking to a music appreciation class; you'd think
> that the teacher of that class would have introduced Ellington into the
> curriculum. After all, he is arguably America's most significant composer, of
> any genre. And many of the students had played in high school jazz
> ensembles. No  band director of any of those students ever talked about Duke, no had
> his  ensembles play any of Duke's numbers? That's incredible.
> Ed
> In a message dated 3/14/2012 5:40:19 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
> arturo at kuvo.org writes:
> This is  clearly a generational problem, most post Baby Boomers, Generation
> X, Y Z,  Millennials, whatever, tend to live in the moment with little
> regard to the  past  A few years ago when Major League Baseball decided to
> retire Jackie  Robinson's number on every team, one prominent African American
> player asked a  reporter, who's Jackie  Robinson?.
> --
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Tom Reney

Jazz à la Mode
Monday-Friday 8-11 p.m.

New England Public Radio
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Amherst, MA 01003

tr at nepr.net

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