I run a venue on Thursday nights and if you’re in Brisbane you should come down to the Turnaround Jazz Club. I get emails weekly from local, interstate and international musicians and managers looking for a gig. As a venue operator I feel it’s important to be open minded about what to present but as I run a jazz club my first and foremost issue is to present jazz. This may seem like a very easy thing to do but it isn’t.
I’m constantly surprised what my peers think jazz is. I don’t know when it become ok for singer songwriters and instrumental adult contemporary groups to start performing in jazz clubs and festivals. I may offend someone, and if you are offended you must realize there is an element of truth to my statement.
The music [non-jazz] itself is rather pleasant and easy to listen to but the biggest disappointment comes because these musicians and bands that perform non-jazz in jazz clubs blur what jazz is but more importantly miss out on the greatest thing that I feel jazz offers as a genre of music; joy.
Yes, that’s right. Great jazz makes people feel great and fills them with joy. The pioneers of this music had this in their playing and they played music (which later became labelled as jazz) to bring joy and happiness to their lives.
In this current world everyone is far too serious and life is far better than what it was in the early part of the 20th Century. So it is difficult to show joy otherwise you might actually enjoy. I have had a previous post call “It’s not cool to groovy” this is a follow up in some way to that post.
To conclude, please support jazz, and seek out good jazz, real jazz. Once you find it you will find the happiness and joy that makes people get into playing the music in the first place.
To the musicians out there that are searching for something new and as a result have forgotten the joy of jazz, get back to the roots of the music and you may find a way forward to finding something new, if not just enjoy jazz.