[Dixielandjazz] Re: "Jazz" Festivals

Rob McCallum rakmccallum at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 2 11:49:41 PST 2003

Hi all,

Steve writes that there are a number of OKOM groups working successfully in
Philadelphia "maybe because there was never an OKOM festival" there.  This
is something that I've wondered about regarding Detroit.  For years the
Montreux-Detroit (now Ford-Detroit) festival (a free festival downtown) was
very strong (late 80's, early 90's) and there was never a jazz club scene to
speak of.  The sad joke was, where is everyone the rest of the year.  It
occurred to some people that so many listeners got their jazz fix free over
Labor Day, that they just didn't turn out much to pay venues - and clubs
really struggled (of course, this may have been just an excuse by poorly
managed businesses).  Lately, there has been much more jazz in Detroit
(though not too much OKOM, other than Tom Saunders and the guys in Ann
Arbor), but Orchestra Hall puts on an excellent jazz series and clubs like
Baker's are doing much better at the same time that attendance is way down
at the festival (which has lost any cohesiveness in it's approach - kind of
a let's try anything and see what happens - no OKOM at all this past year).
Anyway, I wonder if there may be something to the idea that a big yearly
festival diminishes the potential throughout the rest of the year.  I don't
really buy that argument, but it's certainly been made.

All the best,
Rob McCallum

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