Jazz is one of the most important musical genres. It encompasses so many different musical methods that it merely impossible to categorize. Jazz is just as comfortable in clean precision as it is in free flowing jam sessions. Jazz is akin to poetry, it’s never wrong. There is good jazz, great jazz, but never bad jazz. There is no such thing as bad jazz simply because jazz is a free expression of a thought or a feeling or an emotion.
Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fiztgerald, Quincey Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Chuck Mangione, or Squirrel Nut Zippers. Regardless of who your are listening too, jazz is always a good thing.
Not only is jazz pretty darn good music all by itself, but many other genres of music find their roots in jazz. Where would blues or rock be without jazz? Just try to imagine life without Elvis, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, or Led Zepplin.
Although, not everything turns out roses in the music industry. Bieber, Gaga, and American Idol are all the result of an omnipowerful music industry forcing consumers to spend good money on complete garbage. How in the world did anyone take this serious at all?
Buried in their mission statement is this sentence:
“Welcome is our motto.”
I would kindly and respectfully request of the Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mr. Wynton Marsalis and the Chairman of the Board Ms. Lisa Shiff that they change their motto from “Welcome” to “Thank you.” You see, almost 13% of their operating budget was paid for by government grants…
$3,619,100 in fiscal year 2010 alone.
Seriously. $3.6 million.
And they have over $190,000,000 in assets.
For real….. Here is their non-profit financial data:
So why in the world is the IG supporting a musical center? So let me get this straight…
A person or group of people study music.
They become a solo artist or start a band.
Many miles in beat up cars, vans, and pick-ups playing in nasty dives for beer money ensue.
Somehow they make a connection and strike a deal.
Trade in the beat up van for a private jet and the smoky dive for stadiums around the world.
Time comes to support Jazz at Lincoln Center and they can’t be found.
Why worry, the IG will pick up the tab….
Do I like jazz? Yes. Without a doubt. Do I think Jazz at Lincoln Center is doing a good thing? Sure. Music education and performances is a necessity for building a well rounded populous. Is it the responsibility of the IG to make Jazz at Lincoln Center a viable business? Absolutely not. If they can’t make it on their own, they have a lot of options. They can raise the fess a couple of dollars for a session. They can cut down expenses. They can solicit more donations from private citizens who choose to have their money spent in that fashion. They can reduce the number of performances. They should do anything except run home to mommy and complain….
I know it is a tiny sum compared to the overall budget. But you have to start somewhere, and eliminating spending on the completely insane is a great place to start.
Maybe they should raise the price of Bieber or Gaga and use that money to fund Jazz at Lincoln Center. Maybe that will help balance out the travesty that is the disease of Bieber Fever.
What would you do with $3,619,100?