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The Big Question

Why don't more jazz venues present the music more in line with how people live today, rather than how they lived 60 years ago?

Why don't more jazz venues present the music more in line with how people live today, rather than how they lived 60 years ago?
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This article was first published in December 2014.

I have pondered for more than a decade as to why most jazz venues don't present the music contemporary to the lifestyles of most people today.

Some do. Progressive examples of such venues that come immediately to mind include, Shapeshifter Lab in New York City and The Blue Whale in Los Angeles.

But, the fact is that jazz is primarily a listening experience where an audience "participates" by following the dialog that is occurring musically on stage, rather than primarily being visually stimulated by the visual scenes inherent to a performance on stage.

Steaming performances via the Internet, with licensing and admission channels in place, would allow someone in Kansas City to virtually "attend" a performance in New York or Los Angeles.

In our age, we graduate thousands of jazz performance majors each semester into an economy that does not have the infrastructure in place to support the musicians who've already been "working" in it for twenty years. In addition to training students in the business of jazz, I think a good start would be to update the mentality of the venue owners.

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