[Dixielandjazz] Jazz Aspen Snowmass Controversy

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet@earthlink.net
Sat, 24 Aug 2002 12:29:15 -0400

G. William Oakley and letter writers to Jazz Aspen:

Yes, the article could have been (and was) misinterpreted. An easy mistake to
make. And the other letter writers are the followers, not you. It was a mistake
on my part, for which I apologize,  to infer that you were a follower. I tried
to keep names out of it to avoid too much embarrassment and to avoid personal

Jazz Aspen is Jazz Aspen Snowmass or JAS. It is not a "Jazz Festival". Those
who wrote may have gotten the address from searching for the web site. They
should have read that web site before leveling all sorts of charges against
JAS. I came close to writing a letter to Horowitz also, but after searching to
get the address, read the web site to make sure that my accusations would be

Just imagine how Mr. Horowitz must have felt when he got a batch of letters,
some from half a world away,  from people he doesn't know, accusing him of
things he didn't do? Like "false advertising" and a host of other alleged
actions purported to mislead the public. Especially when for more than a decade
he has been a producer of quite a few major jazz events in Aspen? He is one of
the few successful producers of jazz events today and has done as much or more
to present and keep jazz alive as anyone who wrote to him from the DJML.

Everyone who wrote an accusatory letter, without checking the web site, jumped
to an erroneous conclusion. Opinions are fine, but as I see it,  public
accusations should be backed up by some fact checking before they are made. The
accusatory letters were a mistake, no more, no less.

I have great respect for you and what you have accomplished. I have great
respect for your opinions. I also have a great respect for all of us being
human and subject to mistakes now and then. Especially on my end where there
have been, and will continue to be, many.

Steve Barbone

"G. William Oakley" wrote: (polite snip)

> Mr. Barbone:
> If you can pull yourself up from the floor and contain your mirth, you will
> note that the article refers twice to Jazz Aspen.  If I see a news piece
> that refers to the Ford Motor company I might in my naivete think they were
> referencing a car company.  As to being "had by a knee jerk follow the
> leader reaction" that's a bit of a stretch.  I originated the string and
> suggested a response to the matter.  Further, anyone who knows me knows that
> I am anything but "a follow the leader type."  My career history shows that
> I started a theatrical enterprise that all "wiser heads" said would not
> work.  When I retired it was grossing $6,000,000.00 per annum.  When I took
> over the Goldenrod in 1975 I acquired a jazz festival that was limping along
> and within three years it was a major cultural event in St. Louis and
> garnering national recognition.  Following the leader,  not I.   Now that I
> have had my turn at being pretentious and tooting my horn I will return the
> pretension gavel back to its rightful owner.