[Dixielandjazz] Getting OKOM to the kids
jazzboard at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 3 23:15:20 PST 2006
Hi Steve, and all -
You wrote (about my story for the American Rag):
>Bill G wrote a great article about getting OKOM to kids via the digital
>media and Ipods . . .
Thank you, Steve - it's pretty evident that you can't find OKOM on
downloadable MP3s at the present time.
>but that is only about 1/10th of the story. Heck, we didn't
>get OKOM to the kids when we were using the right media. From LPs to
>cassettes, to CDs
Sure we did only it wasn't so much on LPs or cassettes or even CDs . . . it
was 78s! That's what young people used to listened to. The older people
were playing off of sheet music in the parlor piano bench and they were
playing stuff they heard as youngsters. It wasn't jazz . . . the older folks
hated that stuff!
>If we really want to get this music to the kids, we must do what the
>Indie bands do . . . PLAY WHERE THE KIDS ARE.
The "kids" are everywhere. As a group they are pretty much evenly
distributed around the world. What I mean is - you, as a musician, cannot go
to where the kids are. You can only go where the kids who are "true
believers" tend to congregate. In Phoenix last month the Boondockers found
such a place made up of youngsters who called themselves "The Lindy
Hoppers." We all had a ball!
Let's see, there were about fifty kids there. What percentage of the Phoenix
"kid" population does that amount to?
By going to where the kids are you are meeting the needs of an extremely
small group. But you're not reaching the younger generation.
Frankly, I don't think we (your band and mine and others like ours made up
of relics from the jazz days plus a few youngsters who have been nurtured to
play OKOM from jazz camps and high school bands where we know traditional
jazz is the most popular item of the curriculum . . . yeah, right) are
reaching today's crop of teen-agers. They listen to Rap! Is that sad or
what. But that's what the labels are producing and it's what you find on
websites that download music.
Most of the readers of The American Rag are likely unaware of what it means
to "download an mp3 file."
A young person (son of a neighbor) told me about two years ago when I heard
my first mp3 chunk of music, "mp3s are where it's at!" - That was
eye-openng. Why would anyone go and spend 15 to 18 bucks for a CD when they
can download just the tracks they want off the internet for pennies and load
'em into an Ipod.
By the way, newer Ipods can also download movies . . . how powerful is that!
In the opening of this e-mail I asked the question "What percentage of the
Phoenix "kid" population [the fifty or so Lindy Hoppers] does that amount
The answer is a ridiculously small number compared to "What percentage of
the Phoenix "kid" population has an Ipod?
Finally, most of us (musicians like you and me, Steve) are basically what
one might term "old." I know, I know, it doesn't seem like that to you and
me, but it's the truth. Kids might love us because we play some music they
wanna dance to (gawd knows why when they can stand in one place and gyrate
their pelvic regions in time to some rap tune which has to be totally cool)
but in spite of the fact that there are some kids who come to hear us play
there is a HUGE, ENORMOUS, OVERWHELMING number of kids who don't even know
we exist and even if they did they couldn't care less. They are happily
downloading porn on the internet while they listen to Gangsta Rap (which
they have also downloaded on the internet).
On the other hand, Steve, you pointed out: " . . . or if you are Bria or
Jonathan or Brett, or one of
the kids out there with a young band, get your butt on the road and do it
all over the world. . . LIVE, WHERE THE KIDS ARE."
But in order to be Bria or Jonathan or Brett you require one esssential
qualification . . . youth! Alas, you and I don't qualify. If anyone can
produce OKOM that youngsters will download it will be these kids. But they
have to do it on their own just like we did when we were young.
If my dad or any of his generation had tried to encourage me I'd have
probably concluded that I was on the wrong track and done something
different. I realize this is a pretty snide comment but how many of us
really enjoyed listening to the advice of old farts?
As my Websters says:
anachronism, n. 1. a person, object, thing, or event that is chronologically
out of place, esp. one appropriate to an earlier period.
What that means is that it may already be too late.
Bill "turn out the lights, the party's over" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com
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