Friday, April 13, 2007

Viva a Playboy!

There was a time, writes Mark Stryker ( Detroit Free Press ), when jazz had a public presence in mass media as well as in the cultural life of the bigger cities in the United States. Nobody really got rich, but it was possible to make a decent living as a jazz musician. Jazz still is part of the cultural mainstream, Stryker continues, but never before had it been so marginalized. It is important to change this.
Well known cultural institutions and funds should become aware of the importance of jazz education. One should make use f the new ways of music marketing in order to bring jazz to a broad interested audience.
In 1964 the Playboy magazine printed a 17.000 word interview with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Stan Kenton and others; in the 60s popular TV shows regularly featured musical guests like Miles Davis. This presence helped jazz to stay in the consciousness of the listeners. One should try to revive such a consciousness today.

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