Jazz up the festival
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Each year around this time, well-meaning critics call for the organisers of the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, to change the moniker. Writers to this page suggest the name be changed to 'Jamaica Music Festival', as, they say, there is no credible jazz artist being highlighted on the festival's stage.
The bulk of the festival-goers are Jamaicans and, drawing at experience, Jamaicans are not strong supporters of that genre of music. The festival organisers are fully cognisant of the low interest in jazz and book artistes who will pull patrons.
Our radio stations, 20-plus of them, do not often play jazz, a music originated by black musicians in New Orleans, and one prominent radio programmer stated categorically that listeners are not interested in jazz. It also gets meagre support from the press.
There should be jazz at Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, and there was, indeed, authentic jazz on the just concluded show, but that is yet to be reported in the Jamaican press.