Friday, January 21, 2011

Why do they even bother?

As a musician who has spent most of my life down here in Louisiana, it is a safe bet to say that I'm a jazz lover. As a matter of fact, I idolize Louis Armstrong (no pun intended, since last night was the New Orleans auditions of American Idol)

I do have to question, though, why every year they have a festival they call "New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival" when in fact they have little to no jazz.

Take for instance this year's lineup (asterisk denotes actual jazz acts that I'm aware of)

Arcade Fire
Bon Jovi
Jimmy Buffett
Kid Rock
John Mellencamp
Willie Nelson
The Strokes
Robert Plant
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Tom Jones
Jeff Beck
*Sonny Rollins
John Legend & The Roots
The Avett Brothers
Cyndi Lauper
Wyclef Jean
Mumford & Sons
Alejandro Sanz
Jason Mraz
Maze feat. Frankie Beverly
Lupe Fiasco
Arlo Guthrie
Jamey Johnson
*Kenny G
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Decemberists
Gregg Allman Blues Band
Vickie Winans
Lucinda Williams
&Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Robert Cray
Bobby Blue Bland
Mighty Clouds of Joy
Edie Brickell
Keb’ Mo’
Rance Allen
Ahmad Jamal
Ricky Skaggs
Amos Lee
Jesse Winchester
Michelle Shocked
Tabou Combo
RAM and Boukman Eksperyans of Haiti
Punch Brothers
*Ron Carter Trio
Fisk Jubilee Singers
Ivan Lins
Charlie Musselwhite
*Maceo Parker with guest Pee Wee Ellis
and others

Now, you can sit here and argue with me all you want about how it is a "mixture of all styles". I don't have a problem with that. As a matter of fact, some of these non-jazz artists I even like, but for a festival that is supposed to promote jazz first and everything else second.

Is jazz such a dying art form in this country that even its birthplace can't give it a proper festival? *SIGH* They should really just name this thing something else and let Satchmo Summerfest become the official jazzfest.

At least then, there would be a jazz fest with real jazz and not this stuff that's just thrown together to get people to come, as if they wouldn't come without names like Bon Jovi and, I hesitate saying this, Kid Rock.

I'm thoroughly frustrated with this now. Think I need to go put on some smooth jazz and just chill.


Lin said...

Why call it a "jazz" concert when it is very obvious it isn't? It's just silly. Why not just call it a "music" festival?

Mystery Man said...

that's what I'm sayin!!!!