468

Marketing Jazz and the Public Perception

Chuck Anderson By

Sign in to view read count
[ed. note: Chuck Anderson has had an amazingly diverse career in music. He has worked successfully as a professional guitarist, composer, author, clinician and lecturer. He has owned and directed music schools, recorded a dozen CDs, written twenty books on music, run a production company, written for national magazines and currently maintains a busy music consulting business.

Drawing on all these facets of the music business, Chuck will be writing a monthly column for us called "The Art and Science of Jazz." Some of the many topics to be discussed are the education, marketing, aesthetics, craft and business of jazz.
]

Being in this business for a long time as a musician, educator, author and lecturer, I have some thoughts on the marketing of jazz musicians and audiences. Though it's easy to blame the media (and they deserve some of the blame), I think the biggest problem lies squarely on the shoulders of jazz musicians and the jazz community.

This community has never promoted or marketed its art and craft at the level or with the same intensity as other musical idioms. This is not to comment one way or another on the musical significance of jazz versus rock vs country vs pop etc. My focus here is on the marketing efforts of the jazz community.

As an example, country music has an enormously popular and important tradition called "Fan Fair." This is basically a big convention for the fans to meet, up close and personal, their country music idols. Autographs are given, merchandise is sold, pictures are taken. I have never seen a country artist, no matter how successful he or she might be, resist this tradition or complain about it. They recognize that without the fans, they would have no career.

Country music plays to the fans and seems to show a genuine interest in them. I understand the musical differences between country and jazz but jazz still must be marketed with consistency and enthusiasm. It needs to recognize the role of fans in the success of any artist. The musicians have to do their part in promoting and marketing their art and craft. I am talking primarily about traditional forms of jazz not "smooth jazz."

Jazz shares many of the same issues with classical music. There is too often a distance and certain type of elitism that prevents audiences from getting "close." This distance does not help spread the "good word" about jazz.

I hold out great hope for the future because of the "new" music business. "Cyber marketing" and many tools are now available to jazz musicians across the world. We have never had a better opportunity to reach fans worldwide.

The jazz musician and the jazz industry will, like any other business, have to invest in the services that are necessary to build a fan base and achieve worldwide exposure for their music, products and services.

Next time: Marketing Solutions and Reaching a Larger Audience


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Healing Power of Music:  Can Jazz Repair a Damaged Brain? The case of trumpeter Louis Smith The Art and Science of Jazz The Healing Power of Music: Can Jazz Repair a Damaged...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 11, 2014
Read Medical History Blues:  The Curious Case of Jake. The Art and Science of Jazz Medical History Blues: The Curious Case of Jake.
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 5, 2011
Read On Blind Tom, Essence of Creativity, Autism and Jazz The Art and Science of Jazz On Blind Tom, Essence of Creativity, Autism and Jazz
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 17, 2011
Read All Jazzed Up: Looking for a Jazz Center Within the Folds of the Brain The Art and Science of Jazz All Jazzed Up: Looking for a Jazz Center Within the Folds...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 3, 2011
Read Motivation The Art and Science of Jazz Motivation
by Chuck Anderson
Published: January 2, 2011
Read The Student Performer Cycle The Art and Science of Jazz The Student Performer Cycle
by Chuck Anderson
Published: October 20, 2010
Read "Chick Remembers Miles" Jazz Raconteurs Chick Remembers Miles
by Scott H. Thompson
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "AJAZZGO Festival in Cali, Colombia" Live Reviews AJAZZGO Festival in Cali, Colombia
by Mark Holston
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Generation Next: Four Voices From Seattle" Interview Generation Next: Four Voices From Seattle
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Meet "Mr. Saturday Night" Joe France" Out and About: The Super Fans Meet "Mr. Saturday Night" Joe France
by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Go Slow: The Life Of Julie London" Book Excerpts Go Slow: The Life Of Julie London
by Michael Owen
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Nat Hentoff: The Never-Ending Ball" Interview Nat Hentoff: The Never-Ending Ball
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.