Jazz Festivals Minus The Jazz


Looking at some upcoming some major jazz festival programmes one wonders just what are the jazz credentials of many of the listed Headliners. Rock musicians yes. World Music maybe. Who knows what kind of music much of the time.


festmanThe problem is that many of the big festivals built their reputations and the ability to draw in large audiences by featuring jazz legends. However, a high percentage of these recognizable Jazz Legends are no longer with us. There are many wonderful jazz musicians and groups very much alive and playing, but without any disrespect, they do not - at least at this time - the pull that the Miles,Gillespies, et al. had.


 It's perhaps hard to recall that jazz shows such as Jazz At The Philharmonic attracted capacity crowds all over the globe.


So what do the promoters do ? Scale down things. No such thing. They pack the schedule with this and that non-jazz name and groups and hope the numbers and the revenue will continue to flow.

I recently saw on YouTube a Michael Jackson cover band performing at the Brussels Jazz Marathon. Once a major event on the European Jazz Calendar. I posted the following remarks: "Michael Jackson cover band - good at what they do" - I commented - "but come on what has this to do with Jazz ? this was a good example of what once was a really great three to four days of jazz as now being hardly recognizable.". You may not be surprised to hear that the video was removed within less than five minutes of my posting these comments.