[Dixielandjazz] Re: European OKOM Society

Tamas Ittzes bohem at fibermail.hu
Sun Jun 26 04:10:56 PDT 2005

Dear all,

I'm sure you basically misunderstood our friend, Peter about this OKOM
Society. He, I'm quite positive, did not think o fan OKOM chat list
regarding European topics. No, he thought of founding a European Jazz
Festival or Jazz Organizer's Society, i.e. Association. (Peter wrote:
"Dear friends, is there, in Your opinion, a need for the creation of an
European OKOM Society?") By the way, there is (was?) such an
organization called the European Jazz Festivals Organization but its
website (www.netcetera.nl/ejfo/) is temporarily out of order. (Of
course, it's not only OKOM - well, it's mainly not OKOM.)

Then he goes on:
Could'nd or should'nt we consider to create an organisation, dedicated
OKOM, that would make it it's core bussiness, to intermediate
international European contacts between musicians? Even further, a
European Society, could offer a possible support for American or
Australian or Asian misicians,
to come over here and play with "Our" bands.

I think that the bigger festivals are members of the European Festival
Association already which is an organization for all kinds of artistic
festivities. I myself have tried to cooperate with other festivals but
it's not an easy task. Festival organizers (including myself) always
have a definite idea who to invite and even more names in their heads
than it's possible to have at their events. So we always have to
negotiate and compromise. But whenever there is an offer from someone
else (another festival) we tend to think that "Hey, it's not OUR idea,
then it wouldn't be OUR festival." I have succeeded, however, to "sell"
the bands and musicians that come to our event to other venues in
Hungary but have never been able to cooperate with other festivals. In
2006, however, we hopefully will be able to expand our festival and make
a Central European festival happen. (I.e. including a few countries
outside of Hungary from the selection of Austria, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Romania. Anyone, who's there and
would be interested, contact me off-line, please.)

Regarding festival cooperation, time is probably the most important
factor since if, let's say, two festivals are just a week away, with the
inclusion of a few jazz clubs and other dates the time in-between could
be easily filled and thus two festivals could have the same band or
individual musician for a little less price. And of course, as Peter
suggested, I think, bands could be part of this organization, too thus
exchanging their guest stars - I'm not very optimistic in this, either.
We'd need to set up a web page where everybody could submit their
events, guests as much in advance as possible. But then the list (i.e.
submitting members) should be really willing to give out information in
time and in good quantity otherwise it's (sorry) bullshit. And here is
the problem. Such an organization could be useful only if as many
organizers/band leaders etc. give information (in time) about concerts,
tours, tickets, invited musicians, fees etc. as possible. There are a
few such sites (europejazz.net for instance) but they require you to
become a member and most of them makes you pay a little (or a lot). Such
a site (or organization) should be free of charge and seek sponsors plus
get optional financial offers from the members. It really should be
expanded and all submitting members should be kicked every month to take
part. It's a lot of work and I don't think, it could be done. It would
obviously be great, but I'm not optimistic. I have ideas how this could
be executed but it would need two or three full-time workers to make
this happen and maintain the society or whatever. (Visitors, jazz fans
could subscribe to a personalized email newsletter which would provide
them with information about the events of the requested style, band,
region, festival etc. Festivals would give information even about
available hotel prices etc. It would be beneficial to everyone who is
involved but, again, it's a lot of work. Maybe too much. Well, we should
apply for money to the European Union - then they'd say that there are
very similar organizations existing already, join them...) 

Sorry for the lengthy letter, at last, here is a few web page that could
be interesting to most of you (not all European). I'm sure, many of you
already know these:
http://www.europejazz.net/ (was: http://www.ejn.it/)

Best wishes,

Tamas ITTZES - violin teacher, ragtime pianist, festival organizer
Bohem Ragtime Jazzband, Kecskemet Jazz Foundation
Mailing address: H-6001 KECSKEMET, Pf. 652., Hungary
Phone: +36(20)82-447-82
E-mails: tamas at bohemragtime.com, bohem at fibermail.hu
Web site: http://www.bohemragtime.com

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list