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If You Fund It, They (Still) Won’t Come

Q: Save the arts? Really? Why do so many people think the arts need saving? Do we need to save the arts, and if so, what does saving them mean?* Why do so many people think the arts need saving? Well, first of all, the arts bubble from the latter half of the last century […]

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier. Why?

Q: Many countries have ministries of culture. Does America need a Secretary of Culture or Secretary of the Arts? Why or why not? This question gets us into an area we haven’t specifically dealt with yet in the contest, namely politics. The broader issue here revolves around government funding of the arts, which is a good […]

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The Muse That Roars

Q: We live in an aggressively visual age; images dominate the popular culture. But which art form has the most to say about contemporary culture, and why? It’s impossible to deny the premise of this question–the evidence that we are a visually dominated culture is everywhere to be found. Thirty years ago in most markets, there were […]

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The Cultural Capital of Everywhere

Q: New York has long been considered the cultural capital of America. Is it still? If not, where? New York has indeed long been considered the cultural capital of America, and for good reason. The history of 20C music, art, film, and to a lesser extent, literature, can hardly be imagined without the city’s influence […]

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JEN and JAI: The Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Audiences Initiative (or, “They’re just not that into you.”)

In January, I attended the 2012 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in Louisville, Kentucky. It was my first time attending this (relatively) new organization’s conference. I had avoided going previously because I was still smarting from the self-inflicted spontaneous combustion of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) in 2008. The JEN conference was similar to […]

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A Followup to Kickstarter and Kickbacks: Pomplamoose goes begging

I’ve had quite a few people ask me about a response to my recent blog post about Kickstarter and Pomplamoose from Kia Kamran, an LA entertainment lawyer who works with/manages/represents Pomplamoose. I wasn’t going to comment on it, but there’s quite a bit of interest, so I decided to write a “followup” to the original post. […]

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The Payton Bait ‘n Switch: Nicholas Payton in Grand Rapids

I went to see the famous jazz trumpeter, Nicholas Payton, perform in the magnificent Royce Auditorium at St. Cecilia’s Music Center in Grand Rapids, and on that night, I did something I have never, ever done before: I walked out in the middle of a concert that I paid good money to attend. I have […]

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Kickstarter and Kickbacks: Pomplamoose goes begging

When I wrote about Kickstarter in a recent post entitled Beggars’ Banquet: New Music Schemes for New Music Dreams, I mentioned Pomplamoose as a group that seems to be doing very well using their own creative marketing ideas (primarily on Youtube). They’ve received several (hopefully) lucrative advertising contracts with Hyundai and Toyota, they are touring […]

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The Answer is Blowing in the BrassWind

The New York Times CityRoom Blog reported that New York City’s iconic percussion store Drummers World is closing as of Dec. 28, 2011. For drummers, this store was indeed a “mecca”–every visit to New York required a stop at Drummers World, if not always to purchase something, then just to commune with fellow enthusiasts and […]

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Metal and All That Jazz

A friend of mine sent me a New York Times article by Ben Ratliff from 2009 entitled Jazz and Metal, Riffs in Arms. I read it, and told my friend that I found it “strange” to which he responded “what’s strange about this?” Ratliff is a noted jazz writer, critic, and historian, so I was […]

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