[Dixielandjazz] Re: Future of Dixieland - Redux (long, but PLEASE read!)

David Palmquist davidpalmquist at dccnet.com
Fri Aug 8 03:12:33 PDT 2003

Hi Margaret,

Start by seeing what is already happening nationally and 
internationally.  Go here http://www.jazzatlincolncenter.org/    This year, 
Marsalis and his colleagues reached out and touched 18,000 kids who learned 
to play the music of Duke Ellington in the US and Canada.  There is also an 
Essentially Ellington competition in Australia.

Look over the Jazz at LC site, and steal (oops, adapt) some ideas, albeit 
perhaps on a much smaller scale.

I think one key to reaching young people is through competitions - offer 
small value but desirable prizes for the best high school Dixie group of 
high school age, and provide them with the music, the rarer instruments 
(banjo), and perhaps costumes (boaters, pink striped blazers, white pants 
and maybe arm bands.

Talk to local and regional middle school and senior high school music 
educators to bring them onside.  Give them a few CD's to play in music 
appreciation - Beiderbecke, early Armstrong, Kid Ory, whatever.  They'd 
probably love the idea of a battle of the bands.

You may have seen my posting yesterday about starting my own Ellington 
repertory rehearsal band.  I realized a couple of years ago that if I ever 
wanted to play this music, I'd have to create the opportunity.  So I 
did.  You can do the same, because there may not be anyone out there who 
shares your vision - but there's going to be a lot of followers.

Another thing - subscribe to the Community-Band discussion list and ask 
anyone in your area to contact you.  Local community bands might well 
welcome the idea of creating spin-out groups such as our band's spin-off 
Tailgate Dixieland Band.  In my area, we probably have 15 to 20 community 
bands, many of which do have spin-outs.  Take advantage of that in your 
area if you can.

One other area that might be productive would be to liaise with your local 
barbershop quartet groups.  They sing music of a generation ealier than 
OKOM, and most may not be instrumentalists, but they may be inclined to 
cooperate.  You should be able to locate local groups by starting here:


Good luck,

David Palmquist
Delta BC Canada

At 20:31 07-08-03, Margaret Squires wrote:
>Please read this, because I could really use some support and suggestions!
>Lewis wrote....
> > So, where do we go from here.  If people who love this style of music, and
> > openly advocate the perpetuation of it, do not take a proactive role in
> > future, how can we expect the younger audience to do so?  This time, I
>have no
> > answers.
>I'll tell you what my situation is.
>I have been music director at the Modesto club for just over a year.  The
>"mission statement" on each of our news letters that go out states that we
>exist to preserve and promote traditional jazz.  In actuality, and to be
>totally honest, our club is doing nothing to promote and preserve.  Yes, we
>put on our monthly meetings.  I try to book the best bands I can within our
>strained budget.  We attempt to have our local paper put something in the
>"Out And About" section, but for some reason it never happens.  But I feel
>we are not actually out there doing something to bring in new, young,
> >From almost the first board meeting I attended, I have mentioned the idea of
>getting some type of youth program started.  We have so many wonderful youth
>programs all around us (Jazz societies in Sacramento and Fresno, as well as
>Bob Romans' groups), and I would like to see the Modesto society "put it's
>money where it's mouth is" .  The response I received was a blank stare, a
>statement of "Good luck, but we tried it before and it didn't work."
>Sometimes I think the biggest problem is that the people who are on the
>boards of jazz societies (well, ours at least) have been on them too long.
>The same people serve terms over and over and.....  Please, don't get me
>wrong.  If it weren't for those people, the society would have been dead
>years ago.  And let's face it a lot of times, there's just nobody else
>willing to get involved and take a board position.  But the board needs to
>have new blood infused into it.
>The proceeds from the "Opportunity Drawing" we hold at each month's meeting
>goes into a "youth scholarship fund."  We ATTEMPT to give a scholarship each
>year to a young musician to attend the youth jazz camp in Sacramento.  The
>last two years we have not been able to find anyone to give the scholarship
>to.  We have mailed out flyers to all of the local high school music
>directors offering the scholarship.  That is ALL that has been done.  The
>board feels that once they offer this opportunity, the kids will come
>flocking in.  My response is 1) you can't wait until they are in high school
>to expose them to traditional jazz; 2) you can't expect them to just show
>up, you have to go out there and drag them in!
>I think I have finally made a bit of headway at our last board meeting.  I
>kind of forced the issue.  I told them I wouldn't accept the "been there,
>tried that" attitude.  I have talked to a local musician, not totally trad,
>but definately proficient in it.  He said he was willing to help out if we
>could get a youth program going.  Our newest board member is a semi-retired
>middle school music director.  She has almost no traditional jazz
>background, but she is one of the best motivators of kids I have ever seen.
>I think that between the two of them we might have a good blend of
>Now is where I start to get a bit fuzzy as to where we go from here.....
>We have a local music store that is very supportive of performing groups in
>the area.  I am going to contact them to see if their recital space may be
>available for us to use.  They offer music programs over the summer.  I was
>thinking of asking them if they would be willing to offer a traditional jazz
>program.  Then I want to have the participants perform at our August or
>September jazz club meeting (next year of course).
>I'd like to have an existing youth band perform for some of the local
>schools.  But am uncertain of how to go about that.
>If anyone has any suggestions, I would certainly appreciate them.  Am I on
>the right track?  Is there something I'm doing right, or wrong?  I've never
>done anything like this before. But doggonne it, if we don't do something,
>we won't have anyone to replace the aging musicians we have now.
>Sorry to ramble on.
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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