Central Brooklyn Jazz Fest reiterates jazz/race divide

The Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, during what the Smithsonian Institution promotes as Jazz Appreciation Month, is a powerful statement of hard core, grass-roots support for the music Congress has ratified as "a rare and valuable American national treasure." My City Arts column reports on how the fest and other Brooklyn jazz activities, despite best intentions, reprise the distances and suspicions people of diverse backgrounds hold about each other. … [Read more...]

Best DC jazz presenter: Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center presents more jazz in 2009-10 than all the other US government cultural institutions combined -- some 40 concerts of new and established talent in all styles. No surprise, public performance being the Center's reason for being, while the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution are mandated for research and archival activities. But who supports the KenCen's jazz? … [Read more...]

Smithsonian jazz ’09-’10: four shows and JAM

 Cannonball Adderley, Mary Lou Williams and Freddie Hubbard are celebrated in Smithsonian Institution concerts next October, February and April; a December "Swingin' in the Holidays" performance by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra completes its year's jazz offerings. Well, there's also Jazz Appreciation Month in April (otherwise known for fools and taxes) during which the Smithsonian encourages and promotes jazz activities in the U.S. and abroad. Does this represent enough support of jazz, a Congressionally … [Read more...]