[Dixielandjazz] Art's New Years Story and other thoughts

vaxtrpts at aol.com vaxtrpts at aol.com
Sun Dec 23 14:09:27 PST 2012

This is right on the money in so many ways!   Of course not just about New Years and Auld Lang Syne.  It would be interesting to see how much "music education" most of the players in many of today's so called "rock bands," have actually had.  My guess?  85% of them wouldn't know a bridge to save their lives.  Heck, many of them don't even know what the actual notes that they are playing on their guitars really are, much less the notes in the chords are that they learned from a picture in a book.
One sad thing is that there are jazz bands in schools all over our country, but the teachers for the most part don't ever teach their students about listening or about jazz history.  They mainly learn a few tunes to go to contests to try to win trophies.  (Of course this is not all schools, but I would say a preponderance of them.)  And most of these kids listen to pop music all the time, but no jazz - even though they are in a jazz band.  
And "traditional" jazz?  Forget it.  The scary thing is that most of today's young teachers grew up NOT listening to jazz themselves.  Other than Louis Armstrong, many of them couldn't even name any other players of earlier jazz music.
Heck - many of them don't know anything about the big band leaders whose charts they are playing.
This is why it is so important for those of us who care about "America's Original Art Form" to do everything we can to get to not only young people in schools, but also the 20 - 40 year olds who don't know about our music.  This is certainly a crusade that I have been on for the past 50 years!
OK - off my soap box now.
Oh - and by the way, my festival - The Prescott Jazz Summit - is putting on a JAZZ New Year's Eve event at a very nice country club ballroom - and we are getting close to being sold out.  I PROMISE that we will play Auld Lang Syne in the proper manner --------- and I WON'T let Sherry Roberson, our singer, skip across the stage singing it in the wrong key!
Mike Vax
Friends of Big Band Jazz, Prescott Jazz Summit, 
Stan Kenton Alumni Band

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