JAZZ: Is it a dying art form?

First published November 2013

From this Friday, jazz enjoys its annual moment in the spotlight as the London Jazz Festival kicks off around the capital – but while the two-week event attracts mainstream publicity and popular audiences, the genre at large is in trouble.

Audiences are down every-where – even at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, whose 250 seats are traditionally a slam-dunk sell-out. Last month’s UK tour by the US saxophonist David Murray (his first for 20 years, and organised by the production and touring agency Serious, who run the LJF), played to half-full houses or less. In Newcastle two weeks ago, I was one of only 40 punters for a 60th-birthday tour date by Paul Dunmall, an English equivalent of Californian Murray’s post-free jazz bombast. The guy who introduced the band even commented on how gratifying it was to see so many of us. The audience demographic was also striking: late-fifties to late-sixties in the main, and predominantly (and no surprises here, I know), male.

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Epilogue

Hi. I'm Tony Andrews and I am Contributing Editor / Jazz here. I hope you found the above interesting. If you want anything jazz-related published here (free of charge) then please email me at tonya.balgores@talktalk.net and/or you can leave a message on +44(0) 7734 816 345 and I'll see if it fits.  Thank you.