Sunday, June 03, 2007

Think Race Is No Longer An Issue In America?

Think again.

Here's a pic of Buddy Bolden's band a few years ago. Mr. Bolden is believed to be the first jazz musician. Of course, he came from New Orleans.

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Craig Lowery said...

It would seem that jazz is NOT a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Orleans, as it started almost simultaneously in Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City, with the musicians being a multi-hued conglomeration of white, Creole, and Black. "Born of a multi-hued society, it unites people across the divides of race, region, and national boundaries and has always made powerful statements about freedom, creativity and American identity at home and abroad."
The roots of jazz lie as much in European popular and light classical music of the late 18th and 19th centuries as in West African Black folk music. Your pet peeve may be New Orleans jazz, but Blacks do not own the genre, and I fail to see the logic in making a "racial" stink because a club put out one CD featuring 4 artists without the "required number of token Blacks". Those 4 artists have as much a right to represent the genre as any other "set of colors". If it was a 10 CD set, you would definitely have a point. Jazz is supposed to unite people, so what's the point in making a racial issue out of 1 CD? A more appropriate response would have been to ask who might be included on the next CD of the series. But as usual the "African American musicians and community leaders" threw a hissy fit and now nobody can enjoy a perfectly good jazz CD, except for the first lucky 500 who got theirs before the entitlement police stormed in.

Craig Lowery said...

"The racial mix of musicians in this summer's Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival also came into question this week. Susan Muscarella, who is booking the festival through the sponsor, Berkeley's Jazzschool, was in a diversity committee meeting there Friday afternoon. "We're addressing the issue across the board, in all our education and performing programs," she said, calling charges of racial imbalance "unfair and ungrounded."

Muscarella said the Aug. 22-26 festival is about halfway planned. "My problem now is how to book African American artists when they might think they're only being invited in response to the controversy."

Precisely. A big stink over nothing has spoiled the party for everybody.