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Monday, March 15, 2010

The Death Knell for Traditional Jazz Part 2 - Alan Rudd.

Unfortunately, as Brian correctly points out, despite the apparent abundance of local jazz gigs, the local trad/dixieland scene has for a long time suffered a steady decline in the numbers of musicians drawn to this type of jazz. As a result the average age of a typical local jazz band is usually quite high and, without an influx of new personnel or a revival period, it is almost inevitable that the scene will fade out eventually.
You only have to compare the queues of young people waiting to audition for x factor, to the numbers of young people queuing to get into your local jazz gig to realise the scale of the problem.
I honestly don't know if there is a viable solution. However, I would suggest the situation could be seen as an opportunity for some one to look at the possibly of school gigs (maybe as a presentation with some actual live performance) rather than just working the normal pubs/clubs/jazz clubs scene.
Link to original article by Brian Bennett.
Alan Rudd.

1 comment :

Lance said...

It is interesting that you should mention schools Alan.
Jazz in education - as in music colleges - is reasonably profiled but I would hazard a guess that its spectrum is rather narrow.
Big bands, post bop, jazz-rock I think probably covers it with little regard for what went before.
The early local traditionalists learned there craft in the back rooms of pubs and clubs. Many went on to embrace modern jazz - Johnny Dankworth, Dickie Hawdon, Keith Christie to name but three.
The moderns themselves usually began in dance bands where often they would play Syd Phillips' dixieland charts which served to give them a foot in both camps.
Today however, the young musician who has opted out of the overcrowded guitar class and decided on a wind instrument needs to know his options. If he's a clarinet player it's either classical or buy a tenor and play jazz (or jazz/rock) as identified by the music school's curriculum.
I'd be interested to hear from those involved in music education.

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