I watched the Virtual International Jazz Day 2021 online. It was live on the UN YouTube channel and on the International Jazz Day YouTube channel. While watching the live stream, we were about only 886 people watching. Right now, it’s 25K views on the International Jazz Day 2021 channel and 2,700 views on the UN Channel so far.
For such an illustrious event, these global numbers are not impressive. Virtual concerts are depressing, maybe that’s why viewership numbers were not impressive.
I also noticed something else; there was sadness, gloom and resignation on the faces and performances by these great Musicians. The vibe was of malaise, resignation and fatigue. I could tell that it’s been too long since they’ve performed to live audiences, and are fatigued of playing to a screen and people you cannot see and feel.
For the The New Vision story marking International Jazz Day 2021, Kalungi Kabuye wrote about the audious journey of Jazz in Uganda. However, It’s not only in Uganda that a lot of people think that Jazz is elitist. It’s a global misconception I think.
Yesterday when I posted this picture on a global Bassist’s forum, Timothy Crane said something that I found profound, about this subject. He said;
“While Jazz is certainly an elite Music form, it is by no means elitist”.
I agree entirely, Jazz is an elite Art/Music form, usually performed by elite (as in very skilled/Maestros/supreme) Musicians, but it is NOT elitist (in the context of social class/placing in society).
Give Jazz a LISTEN, don’t just hear it, it’s an incredible Art form.
If you are a Musician, whether you are an Instrumentalist or Vocalist, it is imperative that you listen to a lot of Jazz with all its offshoots and sub-genres. You’ll become a much better Musician, in whatever genre of Music you choose to perform.
Dare I say, Jazz Music will make you a better human being; it’s that powerful.