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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The Contraction Continues: The Looming Arts Crisis in Higher Education

Paul Resnikoff posted this sobering graph at Digital Music News that shows US Department of Labor/Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) statistics from 1999-2011 on music sales and music employment. Needless to say, the picture is not pretty. It seems that despite the RIAA’s extraordinary attempts to curb piracy and file sharing (including suing single moms and storming college […]

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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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What Happened to the Generation Gap?

One of my nieces, a precocious, bright, and interesting teenager visited recently. In the course of conversation at dinner one night, I made a joke using a quote from a Michael Jackson tune, and I was surprised that she got the joke and knew the reference. She then said how much she loves Michael Jackson, […]

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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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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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Interview with Jack Hues from Wang Chung and The Quartet

After my post about Wang Chung, I received a lot of emails with followup questions. My post was linked on Wang Chung’s website, and Jack  told me how much he enjoyed the post. So, I asked him if he would consider answering some of those questions and he graciously agreed to do so. I think it’s […]

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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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