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

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

Meet the Staff

Meet Sammy Stein

By Published: March 23, 2013
How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself? A lot—I see people at gigs because I have written about the band. I meet people at gigs who are there because I wrote about the gig or the artist. I meet musicians who know my name but not my face and that is always interesting. I think writing about jazz keeps the genre in people's minds and is as important, perhaps, as people playing the music. As a writer, you have the possibility to bring back people who may have slipped from the public's conscience into the light again—many of whom have never actually stopped playing. Good writing, done with care, attention and with every word earning its place, is another way to people's hearts. You will never change a person's mind with your writing but you might encourage them to try something different and make their own mind up.

What do you like most about All About Jazz? The freedom I get with having my own column, the encouragement I have had from feedback and editors and the positive responses I am getting to my articles from musicians, readers and bands. The reception I got when I started doing it. In my other writing I am limited to word counts and the publisher's rules and style but with AAJ I have more freedom and even if I sometimes break a rule or two, the editors are supportive and comments from readers are good. For a writer, that makes a lot of difference. Musicians ask if I will listen to their material and perhaps review it. If I like it, it opens up new avenues in music for me. For my next project I would love to work with a musician on a book as I think that would be a fascinating complete project. AAJ does not allow itself to become stale or to be put in a box but is as changing as the jazz scene itself.

Sammy Stein at All About Jazz.


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