[Dixielandjazz] The Multitude of Hurricane Relief Concerts

Don Gumpert dongumpert at cox.net
Sat Sep 17 22:06:57 PDT 2005

My houseguests (evacuees from Gulfport, Ms) and I just watched the entire 
PBS Hurricane Relief concert...the only song approaching jazz was a very 
lame rendition of "Basin Street Blues".  It was perhaps the most 
disappointing five hours I have ever spent and I plan to let PBS know.  I 
thought they would at least end with "Do You Know What It Means" or "Saints" 
and was totally disappointed!
Regards from a very sleepy
Sandy Gumpert
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2005 10:19 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] The Multitude of Hurricane Relief Concerts

> Long article, may not interest all List Mates. Interesting from a musical
> segment marketing point of view. (Forget the Socio-Political end of it as 
> it
> is off topic and not relevant)
> Band Leaders, is there a lesson here to be learned about Marketing your
> music? Maybe so.
> Festival Producers, is there a lesson here to be learned about getting
> audience for your event? Maybe so.
> As I wrote this, I just saw/heard Wynton Marsalis and an 8 piece group 
> play
> the hell out of "Dippermouth Blues". They were all black musicians except
> the banjoist. Yet many of us seem to believe Black people don't like this
> music, much less play it. Hmmm, to my ears they out swung most OKOM 
> festival
> bands I've heard lately.
> Perhaps there is a lesson there too. Will tonight's PBS show draw audience
> with such a broad offering of music. Will their "all things to all people
> approach" work?
> Anyway, if you are interested in gaining audience, read on.
> Cheers,
> Steve
> Cultural Divisions Stretch to Relief Concerts
> By MICHAEL BRICK - September 17, 2005 - NY TIMES
> NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 16 - On Saturday night in Atlanta, there will be an
> extravaganza for hurricane relief featuring an array of rappers. Country
> Music Television is staging a benefit concert with a marquee of white
> artists in Houston on Oct. 1. Michael Jackson has enlisted mostly black
> performers to record a benefit single. And Gloria Estefan has announced
> plans for a separate concert with Hispanic stars.
> Even before the floodwaters began to recede in New Orleans, the nation's
> talk shows and opinion pages were filled with debate about the poor and
> black residents' being left to drown while the well off and white escaped.
> Now the cultural divisions reflected in that debate are showing up in
> divergent charity efforts being organized by the music industry,
> sociologists and entertainment executives said.
> "Katrina has exposed fault lines, and didn't bring us together," said 
> David
> Wellman, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa
> Cruz. "The fact that we have different charities raising money reflects 
> that
> we have different ways different-colored people experienced the tragedy."
> In part, the variety of benefits is a reflection of longstanding 
> demographic
> realities in the music business, and the different professional networks 
> and
> connections of those presenting the concerts.
> But the racial and class tensions exposed by Hurricane Katrina are sorely
> testing the power of music to unite people in aid to a city central to the
> country's heritage of musical assimilation.
> Joel Gallen, a producer of the Sept. 11 benefit concert "America: A 
> Tribute
> to Heroes" in 2001, said he noticed a contrast between the responses to 
> the
> attacks and the Katrina disaster as soon as he began booking performers 
> last
> month for the nationally broadcast "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for
> the Gulf Coast," broadcast Sept. 9.
> "It wasn't that same unified, universal thing," Mr. Gallen said. "Nobody
> governs this sort of thing. If other people want to do their own thing, 
> they
> can."
> While most organizers and performers have left the racial and class 
> dynamics
> unspoken, some have been blunt. The most notable has been the rapper Kanye
> West, who said "George Bush doesn't care about black people" in unscripted
> comments during NBC's Sept. 2 "Concert for Hurricane Relief." The network
> edited the comments for its West Coast broadcast.
> David Banner, a producer, rapper and organizer of the hip-hop benefit on
> Saturday at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, featuring artists like Lil Jon,
> Nelly and Young Jeezy, endorsed Mr. West's comments in a statement
> announcing the concert.
> "I think Hurricane Katrina has exposed America for what it is," Mr. Banner
> said in the statement. "I think it's bigger than black and white. I think 
> it
> has a lot more to do with rich and poor. We've always known that America 
> is
> a racially driven country. We front like it's all good, but we know the
> levels of racism that are in America. It shows that America doesn't give a
> damn about people in the hood, period."
> Mr. Banner's Heal the Hood Foundation is also sponsoring a hip-hop benefit
> in Manhattan on Monday that concert organizers say is meant to "cut out 
> the
> middle men" of hurricane relief - a reference to organizations like the 
> Red
> Cross, which they accuse of discrimination in administering aid to 
> hurricane
> victims.
> Separate efforts by the entertainment industry to raise money began early 
> in
> the disaster. On Aug. 30, Mr. Gallen got a call from representatives of 
> CBS,
> Fox and ABC, who proposed a joint benefit, he recalled. The next day, NBC
> announced its event, as did Viacom, for its music channels VH1, MTV and 
> CMT.
> By the time it was shown on Sept. 9, "Shelter From the Storm," the event
> that began with CBS, Fox and ABC, had grown to what was billed as an
> all-encompassing event, like the 2001 concert for terrorism victims. NBC
> joined in the broadcast, as did WB, UPN, PBS, PAX and 21 other networks.
> Kanye West rapped, the Dixie Chicks sang modern country and the Foo 
> Fighters
> played rock 'n' roll.
> But the all-things-to-all-people approach found a smaller audience this
> time. Nielsen Media Research reported 22.1 million total viewers, nearly
> twice the 11.1 million who watched "The Simpsons" last week, but nowhere
> close to the 89 million viewers for the 2001 broadcast of "America: A
> Tribute to Heroes." Still, on Wednesday, the networks announced that they
> had raised $30 million for the Salvation Army and Red Cross, the same 
> figure
> they had reported raising in the benefit for victims of the terror 
> attacks.
> One network that did not join the broadcast this time was BET, which had
> carried "A Tribute to Heroes." Instead, the network produced its own
> separate hurricane benefit concert at the same time. With that show, 
> "Saving
> Ourselves," which included the rappers Q-Tip and Jay-Z, BET said it raised
> $10 million for the Red Cross. Nielsen reported 1.2 million viewers for 
> the
> broadcast.
>>From there, a pattern was set. Michael Jackson, who has been living in the
> Persian Gulf region since his acquittal in a child molestation trial,
> announced a list of performers who had agreed to join him in recording a
> song tentatively titled "From the Bottom of My Heart" for a fund-raising
> effort he called "From the Gulf to the Gulf." He named Jay-Z, Mariah 
> Carey,
> Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, Wyclef Jean, Lenny Kravitz, Lauryn Hill, Mary J.
> Blige, Yolanda Adams, Kenneth Edmonds (also known as Babyface), James 
> Brown,
> Snoop Dogg, the O'Jays and Ciara, a less diverse assemblage than the group
> he had organized in the 1980's for the African famine relief single "We 
> Are
> the World."
> New events have been announced each day, few with lineups more diverse 
> than
> Mr. Jackson's. CMT announced a concert scheduled for Oct. 1 in Houston,
> starring George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson and
> Martina McBride. Gloria and Emilio Estefan enlisted Jimmy Smits, Andy
> Garcia, Jon Secada, Daisy Fuentes and Arturo Sandoval to help in a 
> separate
> fund-raising effort, and announced plans for an event in Miami.
> The competition that has emerged among fund-raising efforts reflects
> cultural lines that were already drawn, some experts said.
> "If this had happened in the 1970's, we wouldn't have a Country Music
> Television," said John H. McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan
> Institute who studies race and culture. "We live in a fragmented America."
> Others said the dividing lines are partly a result of entertainment
> marketing.
> "The music world is split into these various genres, and they're split 
> along
> ethnic lines," said Jonathan Turner, a professor of sociology at the
> University of California, Riverside. "If you're going to raise money, you
> appeal to your core constituency."
> Some producers found success lining up diverse shows by emphasizing the
> musical heritage of the drowned city. Wynton Marsalis, among New Orleans'
> most famed native sons, announced a benefit at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 
> where
> he is the artistic director, to be broadcast live on Saturday on PBS. The
> roster of performers included James Taylor, Buckwheat Zydeco and Paquito
> D'Rivera.
> "One thing that has always allowed people to come together, whether 
> they're
> divided by socioeconomics or class," said Derek E. Gordon, president and
> chief executive of Jazz at Lincoln Center, "one thing that has always
> brought us together is this music. Amid all the things that are trying to
> separate us that people talk about in various discussions, we're trying to
> focus on something that allows people to live together harmoniously."
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