Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall
The controversy and criticism that has continuously inundated Jazz at Lincoln Center throughout its short history will likely follow the organization to its new headquarters on Columbus Circle. Allegations of conservatism and cronyism in the programming are apt to be leveled at the high profile target - there is little inclusion of the "avant-garde" (old or new) in the present schedule and much representation of musicians with current or former associations with Marsalis' bands. Declarations of snobbery and elitism are bound to be provoked by what many consider a continuing narrowness in the organization's vision, as well as a detachment from the economic realities that will prevent many listeners from participating in the much of the music. The multi-million corporate sponsorship of conglomerates like Coca-Cola will surely offend the sensibilities of many who still see jazz as a revolutionary music that thrives most when it is hungry and living on the fringe. Jazz at Lincoln Center seems to be doing it's best to move the music from that place on the periphery of society and bring it to where Marsalis feels it rightfully belongs - at the center of American popular culture. It remains to be seen how well the organization's new home will help the music in general come closer to reaching that goal, but it's hard to imagine that Frederick P. Rose Hall will play anything but a very important role in the future of jazz in New York City and the world.