An Open Letter to Keith Jarrett
You think you are doing this for the good of the people. Is it really the role of the artist to educate the audience? Maybe up to a certain point but definitely without hurting their feelings. We can be told nicely and we will understand and learn. Anything more is arrogance and abuse.
You think the best method to use is force. You are a bully! You use bullying techniques to get what you want. Childish blackmailing methods are a sign of immaturity. If you have an anger problem, deal with it! Why should I go to your concerts in fear that you might be in a bad mood and walk off?
You don't allow the right to reply. At the concert I had to put up with your insults without being able to protest or get my money back (hence this letter). Again this an abuse of your power as an artist.
You ultimately fail. Antagonism breeds antagonism. The only thing you achieve is creating stressed-out and angered people. You are losing touch with the real world.
By deciding not to invite you again the Umbria Jazz Festival people have set a precedent. Hopefully others will follow. This is a sorely needed reminder that an artist, no matter how important, is nothing without an audience. Music doesn't exist in a vacuum. You can only give because we are here to receive. The general sentiment of people leaving the arena that night in Perugia was, "Great music, shame about the man..."
For discussion on this subject, visit the AAJ Bulletin Board topics: "Jarrett opens a concert dissing the audience" and "Keith Jarrett at Carnegie Hall".
Opening remarks at the Umbria Jazz Festival 2007