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Dirty Looks

Ted Gioia’s Bar Talk: Can a Musicologist Make Club Owners Pay More?

Ted Gioia’s recent article entitled Can Club Owners Make Musicians Play for Free? is, like many of his other posts, quickly going viral on social media with the jazz community. The premise is tailor-made for the times—evil bar owners (corporate elite), poor musicians (downtrodden proletariat), government (selfless saviors) via the courts will ride in on a white […]

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Ghost of a Chance: A New Paradigm for Pop Music Success?

I’ve been in Europe since early August as a Fulbright Scholar. Most of that time has been in the beautiful city of Graz, which is in southeast Austria. I am teaching a course at the Jazz Institute at the Kunstuniversität Graz (Graz University of the Arts). As part of this work, I was invited by […]

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Ghost Story: Something Wicked This Way Comes?

As a jazz musician and composer who grew up in the “classic rock” era, I found myself more attracted to those groups that were working with longer forms, complicated or unpredictable harmonies, meters, and rhythms, and strong musicianship; in other words, I listened to a lot of what we now call “progressive rock.” I still […]

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Tiny Bubbles: A Growth Industry for Jazz?

With all of the discussions regarding the sad state of jazz careers, it would be surprising indeed to find that jazz has experienced a significant growth spurt in recent years, but it has. Unfortunately, that growth has not occurred in the clubs, concert halls, or other venues in which jazz musicians perform and hone their craft. […]

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Bite The Hand That Bleeds You: Justice for Jazz Artists? (Part II)

In my earlier post about the Justice for Jazz Artists (J4JA) movement, I noted that J4JA hadn’t been specific about its demands. What does J4JA want these clubs to do in terms of remuneration and benefits? Here’s one of J4JA’s demands–the organization is demanding that the Village Vanguard “contribute approximately $19,000 annually to the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and Employer’s Pension Fund.” […]

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Red Pill, Blue Pill: Professor Asia’s Cardinal Sin

Last week, Daniel Asia, a composer with an impeccable pedigree (Yale, studies with Jacob Druckman and Gunther Schuller) who heads the composition department at the University of Arizona, posted on the Huffington Post Arts Blog and it appeared to go viral in certain segments of the music community. I read the post and found it […]

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Bite the Band that Feeds You: Justice for Jazz Artists? (Part I)

I’ve been watching the development of the Justice for Jazz Artists (J4JA) movement for a couple of years now. If you haven’t heard of this organization, here’s their mission statement from their website: Jazz is an esteemed American art form, inspiring passionate devotion among generations of fans, and New York City has long been an […]

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Golden Age or Gilded Cage?

From “Invariably, the term Golden Age is bestowed retroactively, when the period in question has ended and is compared with what followed in the specific field discussed.” From “A Golden Age is often followed by a decline, where new cultural products are derivative and less inspired and where politics begin to veer off […]

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NoJazzFest for Old Men

Jazz Fest 2012 by Terrance Osborne Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Foo Fighters, Florence and the Machine, Bonnie Rait, Ziggy Marley, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cee-Lo,and Ne-Yo. Where did all of these artists perform?  Exactly–at the New Orleans Jazz Festival! (Which, strangely enough, also enjoyed its “biggest crowd ever.”) In addition, here are the other headliners […]

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The Audience and the Educator: A Study in Blue

I’ve written about what I call “the education fallacy” in earlier posts: The solution [to building a sustainable audience base for jazz], we’ve all been told ad nauseum, is “Education! Teach jazz in the schools, and we’ll be creating new audiences and supporters for the future.” This theory rests on a fallacy—namely, that jazz is such […]

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