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Archive for March, 2011

Whats wrong with Jazz today?

March 13, 2011 27 comments

Why has the Jazz audience dwindled with little renewal? Why is the audience at most festivals and clubs the very same one as 20 years ago?

I believe the root of the problem is how Jazz has been learned since the 70s.

Prior to this period, jazz was primarily learned on the bandstand. Veterans would share their knowledge, craftsmanship, and ideas with each other live on the bandstand – the ultimate workshop of the idiom – and youth would soak up the experience by hanging out and sitting in. It’s hard to believe today but every major American city had myriads of clubs featuring jazz 6 -7 nights. I’ve seen listings of clubs in the 60s for Detroit which looked like a phone book. But by the 70’s, Jazz venues were vanishing rapidly. For most musicians learning the craft, the bandstand was replaced with recordings and play-along records. Read more…

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Categories: Jazz