Josh Grossman's blog

The Audience Issue

A couple of weeks ago, I referred in my blog to an interview with Branford Marsalis posted on the Seattle Weekly website (here it is). The ideas covered off in the interview - why some jazz isn't connecting with some audiences - stuck with me, and have been on my mind recently.

That's a lotta musicians ya got there...

So I'm sitting here, working away, listening to an NPR podcast of the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble's performance at this year's Newport Jazz Festival. And I'm thinking: as I prepare myself for another season with my own big band - spending a ton of time lining up personnel, sorting out musician availability and trying to find funding, not to mention choosing music, updating the website, etc. - why, exactly, do I do this year after year?

You just don't get me, man...

Last week, I was sent (thanks Denise!) a link to a condensed and edited version of an interview Branford Marsalis did with Chris Kornelis from the Seattle Weekly. (The article is here.) In a nutshell, Branford is suggesting that some jazz artists have some work to do when it comes to connecting their music with their audience. He suggests that:

Appreciating art

This arrived today in my inbox from the Toronto Arts Foundation:


So where, exactly, did July and August go?

I hope you've had a great couple of months. My schedule has been a bit erratic over the past eight weeks, so you may have noticed (or am I flattering myself?) that I haven't made a new blog post in about, well, eight weeks. So - here I am, shaking out the cobwebs, slowly getting myself back into a routine. Thus the "re-wiring" of the post's title.

My opening question was a bit rhetorical, actually. I know where my July and August went (or, at least, August). It went here:

Celebrating Dave McMurdo

Canada lost one of its jazz giants at the beginning of June with the passing of Dave McMurdo. A celebration of Dave's life is taking place tonight (Monday, July 4) at The Rex Hotel. Things kick off around 7 pm with the trio of Reg Schwager, Paul Novotny and Kevin Dempsey. At 9:30, the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra will perform one set of music; the trio will then take the stage once again for an informal jazz session. Ted O'Reilly will emcee the evening's proceedings.


Well, that's a wrap. After ten action-packed days of great music and great company, I woke up this morning with nowhere in particular to go. It will take me a couple of days to readjust to "real life", and then before I know it we'll be talking about 2012...

Here's the rundown on my last day of the 2011 festival:

We got the funk...

I admit it - I'm starting to feel the effects of eight consecutive late nights. But some great music and a mid-afternoon break yesterday helped me push through...Here's how it went:

Canada Day Festivities

I feel as though a number of interplanetary alignments occurred yesterday to produce a wonderful day: a lighter schedule meant some time to relax and hang out; some great music and conversations kept me engaged throughout the day; and, on a personal note, I got to spend some time with family. Here's how it went:

The flipside

First - Happy Canada Day! We're looking forward to a fun, family-friendly day on Metro Square.

With more than half of the festival now completed - and heading into a long weekend, when some of our audience inevitably heads out of town - our schedule has lightened up considerably. However, although day 7 may have lacked in quantity (compared to previous days), it was no lighter on quality...


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