Stepping downÂ from presiding over Jazz.com two years after its launch, editor, author and pianistÂ Ted Gioia isn’t saying much about what’s up with the site that has become a major web resource and destination. Naturally, this leads to wondering what has become of the promise and potential of jazz on the web.
Let’s prove jazz lives. Tweet about live performances using hashmark #jazzlives, detailing who and when in 140 characters.
Jazz fests rage across America in the next couple of weeks starting Aug. 29-30 with NYC’s Charlie Parker fest, picking up Sept 4 through 6 Â –Â Tanglewood,Â Chicago, Detroit, the Angel City Jazz Fest, LA’s Sweet & Hot Music Festival, Â theÂ Vail Jazz Party, Philadelphia’sÂ Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz FestivalÂ plus some fests with jazz-influenced acts, rhythms and improv such asÂ Jazz Aspen Snowmass,Â Seattle’sÂ Bumbershoot, the Getdown fest and campout near Chapel Hill NC. Overall, tens of thousands of fans will be in attendance. I suggest we all raise our electronic hands on Twitter (accounts are free) to signal that we are listening, that there is indeedÂ a significantÂ audience including people young enough both age and spirit to send a noticeable wave through social networking,Â National Endowment of the Arts data from ’08 notwithstanding.
Biographer of H L. Mencken and (coming soon) Louis Armstrong, ArtsJournal blogger and scribe for the Wall Street Journal Terry Teachout has raised a fussÂ by pointing to the National Endowment for the Arts‘Â study citing declines in jazz audiences from 2002 to 2008 (and indeed from 1982 to 2008). That this data was released in June and been reported on earlier, elsewhere, (likeÂ at Jazz.com by editor Ted Gioia) without getting much attention suggests either the broad reach and high profile ofÂ Murdock-owned media or it’s August and a writer getting outraged about ho-hum “news” can stir otherwise becalmed straits.Â
But seriously: Mr. Teachout has stumbled into a very old trap, forecasting the death of jazz.