[JPL] Ignorance of past greatness not limited to jazz

Anne Phillips annep14 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 15 10:06:55 EDT 2012


I am the writer of "The Jazz Nativity."  We had a sponsorship program that
brought inner-city kids in to see the show.  They loved it!  So we started
Children's jazz choirs   ... teaching all the great songs and ending with a
concert backed by NY's best jazz musicians. Still doing it every summer.  I
did one in DC where most of the kids went to Duke Ellington High  ... none
of them knew who he was... Once had to call ASCAP to check on a tune ..
 Duke Ellington?  said the young thing in that department, I'm sorry, we
don't have anyone by that name. Let me see, we do have an Edward ....
Anne Phillips,  Kindred Spirits

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 9:04 AM, kingmemphis5 <kingmemphis5 at aol.com> wrote:

>
> It's not ignorance of past. It's a lack of respect. Everybody wants to be
> something else.(youth of today's artist) And they feel that comparison is
> to their disadvantage. That's why they get strung out on drugs and egos
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Hayes <mark.e.hayes at gmail.com>
> To: jazzproglist <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> Sent: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 7:52 am
> Subject: Re: [JPL] Ignorance of past greatness not limited to jazz
>
>
>
> Good morning:
>
> I've been teaching for over 20 years and programming music (on WDNA in
> MIami) for only about five, but people's observations about the general
> ignorance of the history of jazz -- or the past in general -- doesn't
> surprise me.  With my own kids, I've made an effort to introduce them to
> all kinds of music -- I program their little MP3 player with songs from
> Baby Loves Jazz, but also Louis Armstrong and classic blues and plenty of
> "old-timey music."
>
> I've taught a cultural history course about America for the past five years
> as well, and we've crafted a sequence of presentations on American popular
> music.  Most young people today -- even if they study music for one band or
> another -- listen to the popular music of the day, which means that their
> general awareness goes back to about 2000.  So, for them, even artists like
> NIrvana or Jay Z are relatively old school.  Duke Ellington is to them is
> what Bert Williams would be to me -- so far in the past to be out of reach.
>  To show them the ways in which, say, hip-hop is connected back to the
> blues takes a ton of work -- from Jay Z to Public Enemy to DJ Kool Herc to
> King Tubby to Toots and the Maytalls to mento and calypso and southern R&B
> to boogie-woogie and the blues.  And what to do with the minstrel show,
> which is right at the heart of 19th century popular music?  But your
> average history textbook won't present that -- the racial dynamics alone
> are daunting.  Most history classes are actually horrible for helping
> anyone to really understand the past, as they rely too much on a safe,
> prefabricated narrative instead of teaching young people to think like
> historians and ask questions about the past.
>
> An average school music program is really standardized around prefabricated
> arrangements, much in the same way history courses are preprogrammed.  I
> was lucky as a kid to play in a very good jazz ensemble with a real gigging
> musician, and he had us listen to Count Basie and real old school jazz, so
> we could hear what were were trying to sound like.  But, again, it's rare
> to find a music teacher who can explain popular music -- much less jazz or
> blues -- without sounding condescending.  In the end, this unfortunate lack
> of knowledge of the culture and, really, knowledge of self, is why our work
> as programmers is so important.
>
> I never despair about young people today.  I've found that when you show
> the the good stuff -- Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald and Muddy Waters
> and all the rest -- they know it when they hear it.
>
> All this is to say that I love the vitality of this mailing list -- I love
> following these conversations.  I might not speak up much, but it's a great
> pleasure to be associated with you all.  Keep the music alive -- one song
> at a time!
>
> Mark
>
> --
> *www.markehayes.net* <http://www.markehayes.net/>
>
>  <http://www.google.com/reader/shared/mark.e.hayes>
>
>
> --
>
> Jazz Programmers' Mailing List: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> List information: http://lists.jazzweek.com/mailman/listinfo/jazzproglist
> List archive: http://lists.jazzweek.com/pipermail/jazzproglist/
> Sponsorship information: jplsponsor at jazzweek.com
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Jazz Programmers' Mailing List: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> List information: http://lists.jazzweek.com/mailman/listinfo/jazzproglist
> List archive: http://lists.jazzweek.com/pipermail/jazzproglist/
> Sponsorship information: jplsponsor at jazzweek.com
>



-- 
Anne Phillips
H: 212 580 2349
C: 347 523 3928
Email: annep14 at gmail.com
Kindred Spirits
Jazz Nativity
Children's Jazz Choirs


More information about the jazzproglist mailing list