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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Highly Opinionated

Toronto Jazz Festival 2008

By Published: July 29, 2008
Throughout history, music survived on patronage—from church and state. Hundreds of years ago, kings and queens, princes and princesses commissioned works of music. The church continues its slow and steady patronage. More recently, the not-for-profit foundations stepped in and in several instances helped artists, especially jazz artists, create memorable works. Guggenheim, the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers are the new patrons. But their reliance is on donations. So is it time for the new state—the Capitalist Corporation—to step in? If what TD Canada Trust is doing in Canada is any indication, this—although not a new phenomenon—has certainly set things in motion. Too bad about the price of oil and of commodities like grain, which has also led fans to make some ugly choices and supporter/investors to look at options other than jazz clubs. Most disheartening is that many corporations—TD Canada Trust is in a minority—who may have otherwise been supporters of the music are tending to look elsewhere to invest foundation money that would otherwise have gone readily to support the music many of them actually love. Jazz like the whole fabric of capitalism that supports it is in recession. But on a note of hope, this is not the first time that jazz has fallen into the trough of a wave... it will endure as it has for a hundred years and it is only a matter of time before it finds the right patronage—like that of the Ertegun brothers and Norman Granz and Alfred Lion and John Hammond, Michael Cuscuna and John Norris, and so many others who helped the true artists spread the gospel... The second coming is coming. Heard Christian Scott and Alexis Baro, David Virelles, Brandi Disterheft and Rossano Sportiello lately?

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