[Dixielandjazz] FW: Growing the Jazz Audience Can't be Done; Maybe That's Okay-- blog

Marek Boym marekboym at gmail.com
Sat May 26 14:40:13 PDT 2012

> So, rather than to discuss the differences between the U.S. & Europe, which
> we all well understand already, I would like to look closer at two bits I
> pulled out of the text in the link:
> 1.  "How do we make Jazz vital once again?"
> How to make it vital now?  Play it with vitality!  Ok, I'm probably playing
> around a bit with that word, but you get the idea.  Even a ballad can be
> dynamic if you really get into it.  The audience feels that vitality, and
> knows something is happening.  They don't need to know what, they just need
> to feel something is going on.  We're the ones that need to know the what of
> it!  When musicians play for themselves, most folks don't get it.  Play for
> the audience, they'll get that.

Well said, Jim.  Just back from a duo (piano and trumpet) gig for
dancers, and other than a friend of mine and his wife, both younger
than I, the whole audience was at most around thirty, mostly younger.
The kids danced, some listened, and all gave the musicians tumultous
> 2.  "Most don't care about Traditional Jazz....music has simply evolved
> beyond it."
> You can play Traditional Jazz in an evolved manner, not trying to imitate
> the originals, but still playing the old tunes.  Playing them with a
> lighter, more swinging rhythm is one way of evolving.  Get those fast tempos
> up!  Get the front line out of those chairs, up on their feet, playing with
> all their body, is another way to make sure it doesn't get interpreted as
> being "old" (even if the person playing is!).

Those kids enjoy traditional jazz.  While that particular gig was more
in the "swing" area, they often come to listne and dance to the New
Orleans Function, and that band is hot!  Sure, they come to dance, but
they love it!  And some come to listen to the bant in non-dancing

>Our audiences don't worry
> about what style we are playing or even care about what it is called.  They
> just enjoy it as long as we play in a way that causes this enjoyment.

The right approach!


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