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Baffling Omissions from Jazz Fest History

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  • Baffling Omissions from Jazz Fest History

    Who are some artists never appearing at Jazz Fest and one wonders why?

    In jazz, it seems strange that an artist as successful as Pat Metheny has never appeared at Jazz Fest. Ex-Miles Davis Guitarist Mike Stern is another omission. And how has pianist Jason Moran never appeared at Jazz Fest? He was nothing short of brilliant at all three Big Ears Festival appearances this year.

    In blues, it seems shocking that Otis Rush never appeared at Jazz Fest. While R.L. Burnside appeared a number of times, there was no appearance for Junior Kimbrough.

    In World music, the festival seems to lack an interest in Brazilian music. There is one listing for Milton Nascimento, but none for Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Djavan, or Gilberto Gil

  • #2
    Joe Ely, Junior Brown, Dave Alvin or The Blasters.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sue Foley

      Mike Zito
      Last edited by Fred (Texas JF Fanatic); 05-29-2022, 12:29 PM. Reason: Added Mike

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kh1958 View Post
        Who are some artists never appearing at Jazz Fest and one wonders why?

        In jazz, it seems strange that an artist as successful as Pat Metheny has never appeared at Jazz Fest. Ex-Miles Davis Guitarist Mike Stern is another omission. And how has pianist Jason Moran never appeared at Jazz Fest? He was nothing short of brilliant at all three Big Ears Festival appearances this year.

        In blues, it seems shocking that Otis Rush never appeared at Jazz Fest. While R.L. Burnside appeared a number of times, there was no appearance for Junior Kimbrough.

        In World music, the festival seems to lack an interest in Brazilian music. There is one listing for Milton Nascimento, but none for Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Djavan, or Gilberto Gil
        I could write a list a mile long. I've just learned to take what they give us.

        That is live music in general here in New Orleans, so many people just never come here. It's why I travel to other cities every few months to see artists who I love but never play here.
        Last edited by jjazznj; 05-29-2022, 12:37 PM.

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        • #5
          Tinariwen is another World Music stalwart who should play it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jjazznj View Post

            I could write a list a mile long. I've just learned to take what they give us.

            That is live music in general here in New Orleans, so many people just never come here. It's why I travel to other cities every few months to see artists who I love but never play here.
            Nothing baffling about it; Jazz Fest no longer even tries to hide that is purely a mainstream, market-driven commercial enterprise, and as such even puts it at odds with the "mainstream of jazz" (if indeed such a place still exists.) Consider that even such a successful cross-genre figure as Bill Frisell never has played Jazz Fest.

            And yet (in the jazz and related field) so many world important figures have played here in the past 25 years (mostly on the downlow given the none-existent media coverage of music since the T-P imploded): MacArthur "genius award" winners Vijay Iyer, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Ken Vandermark; Doris Duke Artist (major jazz award) winners Wadada Leo Smith, Matana Roberts, and William Parker; internationally recognized artists David Murray, Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Billy Bang, Frank Lowe, Nels Cline, Andrew Cyrille, Randy Weston, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Cecil McBee, Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett, Charlie Haden, Peter Brotzman, Evan Parker; known to the cognoscenti Hamid Drake, Mike Reed, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Michael Zerang, Mars Williams, Dave Rempis, Steve Swell, Joe McPhee, David S. Ware, Susi Ibara, Marc Feldmen, Sylvia Courvoisier; European leaders Frank Gratkowski, Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, Michael Moore, Wolter Weirbos, Georg Graewe, Gebhard Ullmann; hip genre crossers associated with International Anthem label: Jaimie Branch, Ben LaMar Gay, Damon Locks, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Makaya McCraven, Moer Mother, Luke Stewart, etc.

            This is just a partial list of people I have heard in New Orleans over this period so my point is that there have been many opportunities to hear music outside of the generic. Unfortunately these are opportunities that far too few of taken advantageous of and whether they can possibly continue is an open question. But seeing the tremendous audience for Big Ears this year give me hope that there is an audience just waiting to get tuned in.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by belyin View Post

              Nothing baffling about it; Jazz Fest no longer even tries to hide that is purely a mainstream, market-driven commercial enterprise, and as such even puts it at odds with the "mainstream of jazz" (if indeed such a place still exists.) Consider that even such a successful cross-genre figure as Bill Frisell never has played Jazz Fest.

              And yet (in the jazz and related field) so many world important figures have played here in the past 25 years (mostly on the downlow given the none-existent media coverage of music since the T-P imploded): MacArthur "genius award" winners Vijay Iyer, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Ken Vandermark; Doris Duke Artist (major jazz award) winners Wadada Leo Smith, Matana Roberts, and William Parker; internationally recognized artists David Murray, Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Billy Bang, Frank Lowe, Nels Cline, Andrew Cyrille, Randy Weston, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Cecil McBee, Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett, Charlie Haden, Peter Brotzman, Evan Parker; known to the cognoscenti Hamid Drake, Mike Reed, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Michael Zerang, Mars Williams, Dave Rempis, Steve Swell, Joe McPhee, David S. Ware, Susi Ibara, Marc Feldmen, Sylvia Courvoisier; European leaders Frank Gratkowski, Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, Michael Moore, Wolter Weirbos, Georg Graewe, Gebhard Ullmann; hip genre crossers associated with International Anthem label: Jaimie Branch, Ben LaMar Gay, Damon Locks, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Makaya McCraven, Moer Mother, Luke Stewart, etc.

              This is just a partial list of people I have heard in New Orleans over this period so my point is that there have been many opportunities to hear music outside of the generic. Unfortunately these are opportunities that far too few of taken advantageous of and whether they can possibly continue is an open question. But seeing the tremendous audience for Big Ears this year give me hope that there is an audience just waiting to get tuned in.
              Hard to believe I saw Sun Ra at Jazz Fest many years ago. Still to this day the most amazing and interesting artist I ever saw there.

              I'd love to see many of those acts (a few I saw in NYC) but especially Jaimie Branch, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts and Damon Locks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jjazznj View Post

                Hard to believe I saw Sun Ra at Jazz Fest many years ago. Still to this day the most amazing and interesting artist I ever saw there.

                I'd love to see many of those acts (a few I saw in NYC) but especially Jaimie Branch, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts and Damon Locks.
                I think Sun Ra played in 1989. I didn't see him at the Fest because of work, but I saw them do a workshop at SUNO with Kidd Jordan, at a Fest sponsored school event at an elementary school on Pauger Street in front of some mesmerized children and at Storyville Club on Decatur.

                Tomeka was here with the H.I.P. Festival put together by Jeff Albert and Marcelo Benetti (no longer happening,) Jaimie was here not with her quartet but as part of the first Instigation Festival (still happening every February,) Matana played a solo concert at Domino Records, and Damon was part of an arts residency at the New Quorum that also featured Wadada Leo Smith and Nicole Mitchell. Artists feel inspired by New Orleans even if they are not interested in aping "New Orleans" music because they feel the improvisational potential--fortunately for us.
                 

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by belyin View Post

                  Nothing baffling about it; Jazz Fest no longer even tries to hide that is purely a mainstream, market-driven commercial enterprise, and as such even puts it at odds with the "mainstream of jazz" (if indeed such a place still exists.) Consider that even such a successful cross-genre figure as Bill Frisell never has played Jazz Fest.

                  And yet (in the jazz and related field) so many world important figures have played here in the past 25 years (mostly on the downlow given the none-existent media coverage of music since the T-P imploded): MacArthur "genius award" winners Vijay Iyer, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, and Ken Vandermark; Doris Duke Artist (major jazz award) winners Wadada Leo Smith, Matana Roberts, and William Parker; internationally recognized artists David Murray, Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Billy Bang, Frank Lowe, Nels Cline, Andrew Cyrille, Randy Weston, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Cecil McBee, Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett, Charlie Haden, Peter Brotzman, Evan Parker; known to the cognoscenti Hamid Drake, Mike Reed, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Michael Zerang, Mars Williams, Dave Rempis, Steve Swell, Joe McPhee, David S. Ware, Susi Ibara, Marc Feldmen, Sylvia Courvoisier; European leaders Frank Gratkowski, Ab Baars, Wilbert de Joode, Michael Moore, Wolter Weirbos, Georg Graewe, Gebhard Ullmann; hip genre crossers associated with International Anthem label: Jaimie Branch, Ben LaMar Gay, Damon Locks, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Makaya McCraven, Moer Mother, Luke Stewart, etc.

                  This is just a partial list of people I have heard in New Orleans over this period so my point is that there have been many opportunities to hear music outside of the generic. Unfortunately these are opportunities that far too few of taken advantageous of and whether they can possibly continue is an open question. But seeing the tremendous audience for Big Ears this year give me hope that there is an audience just waiting to get tuned in.
                  At least some of the people you list have in fact played at Jazz Fest.

                  David Murray has played at Jazz Fest three times (1986, 1995, 2002).

                  I've seen William Parker and Hamid Drake at Jazz Fest with Kidd Jordan in the last decade.

                  Archie Shepp was at Jazz Fest in 2018 and previously appeared in 1983 and 1995.

                  Randy Weston was at Jazz Fest in 2001.

                  Cecil McBee was there this year with the Cookers.

                  Reggies Workman was there in 1984, with George Adams, Don Pullen and Ed Blackwell (wish I had been there too).

                  Oliver Lake and Hamlet Bluiett were both there in 1987.

                  Charlie Haden was there in 1980, 1986 and 1988.

                  But you are right, not exactly an abundance of left of center jazz in the last couple of decades.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kh1958 View Post

                    At least some of the people you list have in fact played at Jazz Fest.

                    David Murray has played at Jazz Fest three times (1986, 1995, 2002).

                    I've seen William Parker and Hamid Drake at Jazz Fest with Kidd Jordan in the last decade.

                    Archie Shepp was at Jazz Fest in 2018 and previously appeared in 1983 and 1995.

                    Randy Weston was at Jazz Fest in 2001.

                    Cecil McBee was there this year with the Cookers.

                    Reggies Workman was there in 1984, with George Adams, Don Pullen and Ed Blackwell (wish I had been there too).

                    Oliver Lake and Hamlet Bluiett were both there in 1987.

                    Charlie Haden was there in 1980, 1986 and 1988.

                    But you are right, not exactly an abundance of left of center jazz in the last couple of decades.
                    Certainly, but few in the post Katrina (i.e., AEG) years and rarely as leaders. William Parker has played with Kidd many times, but is only listed once in the database. Hamid played with Rob Wagner in 2008 (and with the Mandingo Griot Society in 1979 and 1980) but never with Kidd at the Fest. And of the names you mention, only Hamid and David Murray are under 70 (and most are over 80) and none under 65. Also I would argue most of these people are not left of center--they are the center and what Jazz Fest picks are to the right, but this all depends are where one stands. Jazz is so far removed from the center of American culture these days that is appears these folks are part of some fringe, but in fact they are all directly connected to the lineages of the jazz tradition, and I doubt most of them are more than two degrees of separation removed from Louis Armstrong let alone Bird, Monk, Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, or Ornette.
                    Last edited by belyin; 05-30-2022, 02:24 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I may be confusing one of the other festivals I've been to in regard to Hamid Drake.

                      I don't expect Jazz Fest to become a showcase for younger, innovative talent in the jazz field; that's more the province of Winter Jazzfest, the BRIC Festival, and the Vision festival in NYC and the Big Ears Festival.

                      Plus I don't get the impression that Quint is actually a jazz fan (though I am thankful he is an African music fan it appears).

                      Nonetheless, several of the non-New Orleans based Jazz headliners this year, specifically the Cookers, Newport All Stars, and Antonio Sanchez, were terrific in my opinion. David Sanborn was actually pretty straight ahead and played a fine set as well. Combine that with highlights of the local talent (Herlin Riley, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Mahmoud Chouki, Uptown Jazz Orchestra), and I am imperfectly happy.
                      Last edited by kh1958; 4 weeks ago.

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                      • #12
                        Nick Lowe

                        Fairport Convention

                        Joe Jackson

                        Any Two-Tone bands (Specials, Selecter, Madness)

                        The Mekons or any spinoffs

                        Kristin Hersh (who has lived on=off in NO for 20 years)
                        Last edited by BrettM; 4 weeks ago.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kh1958 View Post
                          I don't expect Jazz Fest to become a showcase for younger, innovative talent in the jazz field; that's more the province of Winter Jazzfest, the BRIC Festival, and the Vision festival in NYC and the Big Ears Festival.

                          Plus I don't get the impression that Quint is actually a jazz fan (though I am thankful he is an African music fan it appears).

                          Nonetheless, several of the non-New Orleans based Jazz headliners this year, specifically the Cookers, Newport All Stars, and Antonio Sanchez, were terrific in my opinion. David Sanborn was actually pretty straight ahead and played a fine set as well. Combine that with highlights of the local talent (Herlin Riley, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Mahmoud Chouki, Uptown Jazz Orchestra), and I am imperfectly happy.
                          I think the Jazz Fest does have the responsibility to nurture talent and to cultivate an audience instead of just offering what is familiar to everyone. Almost everyone who plays the Jazz tent is talented and has something to offer (even if for some it is pretty much what they offered the last 40 times they played the tent,) but the music world is vast. As a counter example of jazz programming for a mass audience, check out the Chicago Jazz Festival. It is a free event sponsored by the city so it is different but it still has to answer to the public (and tourist interests) just not through market mechanisms but through the political process. They haven't announced a full lineup yet, but they have announced Henry Threadgill and Zooid, Bill Frisell, William Parker and his quintet, Miguel Zenón, Linda May Han Oh and Jazzmeia Horn, and I know from experience that they present a wide range of Chicago jazz artists while encouraging new projects and formations. [Now that I think about it, contrasting the two serves to validate the clichéd images of the two cities–backwards looking New Orleans vs. forward looking Chicago (which of course is an oversimplification at best.)]

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                          • #14
                            NRBQ (surprise! although they were once on the bill for a rained out Fest), and, more recently, Larkin Poe.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BrettM View Post
                              Nick Lowe

                              Fairport Convention

                              Joe Jackson

                              Any Two-Tone bands (Specials, Selecter, Madness)

                              The Mekons or any spinoffs

                              Kristin Hersh (who has lived on=off in NO for 20 years)
                              Does Fairport still tour?

                              Comment

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