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Can we grow a jazz audience?

NPR's Kurt Ellenberger discusses "The Difficulty of Growing a Jazz Audience"

Jazz has always seemed to me to be the musician's music…  Through the years where I ran The Brigham Galleries, I listened to a lot of jazz.  I'm sure it's highly illegal and I violated all sorts of copyright laws, but I copied a number of CD's from the Library, and would play them during the day in the gallery.  Classical didn't always feel right - sometimes I wanted, well, jazzier music…  At first, it was just for 'background music'… but then I grew to love it.  Miles, Sonny Rollins, John Scofield. 

I thought this article was interesting.  He's right.  Jazz isn't really in vogue.  It's hard to make a living as a professional musician.  So how do we spread appreciation?  Ellenberger speaks to the situation in his article,

"Jazz simply needs to continue doing what made it great in the first place: engage with popular culture in an intelligent, nuanced and sophisticated manner, as some successful groups are doing today. If there is any hope of audience building, this is where it lies. It must be organic, visceral and culturally relevant, qualities which cannot be consciously conjured by an audience development committee."…

Interestingly, electronic jazz frequently makes its way into the DJ dance scene - Just ask Pete Ahern & Billy Desmond of the Audio Architects, who spin at least weekly throughout most of the year….  I, for one, would love it if we had more live jazz on island… 

Read Ellenberger's entire article HERE:


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Dorothy Stover's picture

I would love to see Nantucket have a Jazz/Music festival!

Was one last year and the year before, Nantucket Jazz Co..  I believe one is planned for the coming year but by a different group.

Rob Ranney's picture

why isnt there a jazz fest on Nantucket? we pretty much have all the rest of the possible fests : film, daffodil, christmas, wine - jazz would so complete the cycle!

Don't forget Chowder Fest, Cranberry Fest, Garden Fest, October Fest, ...we literally have a year-round Festival of Festivals.

Dorothy Stover's picture

Now Book Festival in June...It's time for a Jazz/Music Festival

Blues Fest????

Rob Ranney's picture

Nantucket Jazz Fest would be amazing - we need to make this happen!