[Dixielandjazz] OKOM & Jazz At Lincoln Center

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Wed Oct 20 10:20:15 PDT 2004

In a message dated 10/20/04 8:33:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

Polite snip (from NY Times article)
> "The heart of Jazz at Lincoln Center is about swinging and playing the blues
> ... because we feel that's the heart of what jazz is about," said Marsalis.
> "We're not against any type of improvised music playing ... but we have a
> core program and values that we stick to." . . .
This quote from Wynton Marsalis should open more eyes in the jazz world that 
for decades has treated the Blues as an ugly retarded father of Jazz.  It is 
great to see a guy with political musical clout to reach back in history and 
embrace the parents of Jazz, Blues and Gospel music which contributed so much to 
this cultural contribution to the world. 

It was also no mistake that last year was declared the Year Of The Blues, and 
gave long standing Blues artists a great shot in the arm and boost in income, 
because of the attention and promotion that came out of it.  Some of them 
tripled their income and concert dates, and many new Blues clubs were opened all 
across the US with many of them hiring two bands a night, and creating a 
breeding ground for another generation of up and coming Blues musicians and a few 
Jazz musicians who had the good sense to take an academically step backwards 
(at least in their minds)  to cash in on the employment opportunities that were 
brought to them by THE BLUES.

Everyone has been crying "SAVE THE BLUES" for years, and the Blues have been 
thriving and growing underground as more and more college kids discover the 
music all over the world.  Finally the USA gave it some recognition for a year.  
The fledgling Blues Societies all across this country have the same problems 
as the OKOM Jazz societies, but they are doing a much better job of taking the 
music out to new places and garnering new followers and supporting the clubs 
and businesses that support and hire Blues musicians.

I hope Wynton invites B.B. King and other Blues Icons to play at Lincoln 
Center soon to give the Blues even more credibility.  By doing this Wynton will 
pass the test of most critics who would like to say he is only using his clout 
to further his own cause and career.

If he opens up Lincoln Center to other great musicians in Jazz and Blues and 
Gospel genres, he will indeed be doing what we should all be doing "reaching 
back to help someone else move up the ladder to self sustain our part of the 

Jazz Is American Classical Music, which is why the world embraced it and has 
continued to support it all over the world.  But make no mistake about it 
"BLUES" sells the tickets and draws the crowds that support many major Jazz 
festivals around the world.  Take those Blues acts off the bill and you will start 
to see a lot of folks desert the festivals, and the beer sales will dry up 
pretty fast as well, followed by the sponsorship money.

It is not always About ME  it is about US, "United we stand, divided we Fall"

Musical content:   "Let's Work together"


Tom Wiggins
Saint Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band

"We ain't ashamed to play the Blues" or Gospel, Zydeco, R&B, and Rock and 
Roll which all started with the early Gospel and evolved into Jazz.  The Blues is 
the common denominator.  Bye the way for all who don't know, Country & 
Western is also an offshoot of the Blues which developed when songwriters and 
singers like Hank Williams went down to Louisiana and listened to the Black Blues 
singers and went back to Nashville and wrote country blues songs.  Of course in 
those times it was not possible to get Race records on the radio, but guys 
like Williams and Elvis found a way to record the same music by white guys and 
get it played on the radio launching great careers for many white bands.  Not 
unlike the history of early Jazz which launched DIXIELAND which was embraced by 
White groups as the music got broader exposure and popularity.

Give the audience what it wants to hear and you will stay employed.
If you don't want to play that kind of music don't take the job, forcing 
strictly what you want to play on an audience has destroyed many a recurring job 
opportunity for the pompous band.

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