Monday, July 05, 2010

The Essence Music Festival... (Jazz, Rock....?)

I was going through my facebook page the other day and noticed a friend of mines page and noticed her freshly updated pictures from the Essence Music Festival. I decided to go to the page and check out who was performing there... As I went through the roster of artists this year, I saw some great acts - Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, De La Soul.... And I started to think about all the many other genres of music that I would've liked to see on this list.. (of course jazz was on it)... And it made me wonder why jazz music isn't popular in the African American culture.. Ok.. I did see some New Orleans artist on the list.. And there were some great names there... But I wondered why there were only jazz groups from New Orleans at the festival? Was it because the were FROM New Orleans and may not have cost as much since they were already home?

I guess this is a question I ask myself over and over again. As much as I love playing to ANY audience that appreciates my music, there are times when I look out in the audience and ask myself what has happened to the black community when it comes to Jazz music. Why don't more African Americans know about this music?

When I look back at my days in middle school and high school, I realize that I didn't really learn much about my history as an African American. Period. If I did, it was from my mother or people outside of school. And most of that was simply based on the fact that I was studying this music called Jazz and had dreams of becoming of musician from an early age...

I guess my hope is that this music and many other genres of music reach the people. There are a bunch of young jazz musicians that I think need to be heard.. There are also artist from other genres like J*Davey, Muhsinah, and Georgia Ann Muldrow that I think are coming up with some fresh new concepts as well... Sometimes I wish I could take over one of these popular music stations and expose people to some of the great music that's out here...

No comments: