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Topic: 'Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis' - debuting on PBS

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  1. #1
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    'Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis' - debuting on PBS

    From the International Association of Jazz Education:



    "Jazz is returning to network television for the first time in 40 years!

    A new TV series, “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis,” will be debuting on PBS stations nationwide in early April. The 13-week series will feature the biggest names in jazz – including Tony Bennett, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Al Jarreau, Jane Monheit, and many more – produced in multi-camera high definition TV with 5.1 Surround Sound. In short, Legends of Jazz is presenting this music as it’s never been presented on television. This is cause for huge celebration.

    It is expected that the series will have well over 80% coverage across the U.S., many at excellent time availability during the week and on weekends. But, we have some concern that in selected cities, the series will be airing on your local PBS stations in fringe time slots, where few viewers will have the opportunity to see this important jazz programming. And the consequence is dire: if the series does not attract a large audience, which it cannot do if airs after midnight, and then we’ll see even less jazz programming on television in the future....

    Public televisions stations are supported by viewers like you and they need to hear from you. If you care about the future of jazz, please contact the Program Director and/or the Station Manager of your PBS station to get jazz on TV! ... I You can also call the station and say that you’d like to talk with the Program Director or Station Manager.
    Thank you for your continued support of jazz and for your work in passing on this important musical legacy to the next generation."

    Sincerely,

    Bill McFarlin
    Executive Director

  2. #2

    Re: 'Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis' - debuting on PBS

    While I support every opportunity to promote jazz, Mr McFarlin needs to take a course in jazz education himself. The names listed are not the biggest names in jazz at all - some would even question whether musicians like Botti are even playing jazz at all these days, but regardless, they all represent a TINY cross-section of what could potentially be broadly described as the jazz idiom. Being that it comes from the "International" Association in Jazz Education, he might also add that its the first time in 40 years that jazz has returned to US network television (which may or may not be accurate). I've watched numerous jazz shows here in Canada (I also watched numerous jazz shows in the UK when I was growing up, and I'm not 40 years old... getting there, but not quite).

    So, while I support this cause wholeheartedly and with great enthusiasm (and if I lived in the US would do something about it), the letter would have more credibility if it was accurate (not to mention minus the typos).


    Rich

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: 'Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis' - debuting on PBS

    Has it been over forty years since the Bill Evans Trio at the Workshop was on PBS? If so I must be getting old.

    Whenver I see Jazz presented well on TV I am pleased although I admit that the musicians presented are not always the ones I might have chosen.

    It's kind of like attempting to answer the question who is your favorite composer.

    I'll watch for the show.

    David M.

  4. #4

    Re: 'Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis' - debuting on PBS

    Mr Dabbler,

    thank you for your opinion. I agree with you completely! These artists are not the biggest names in Jazz and they are certainly, in my book, not historically viable in jazz. Well, maybe Tony Bennett might be. What about Sonny Rollins, who's still living, or Esther Phillips (not living) whom I've performed behind. Don't forget the Great Jimmy Smith who was a friend of Esther Phillips! I can go on about some Jazz Greats whom I've know and performed with! I've taken note lately that there's a trend in America and people, in a position of power, have been promoting so called jazz musicians who are not what I consider a jazz great!

    Ronnie Boykin

  5. #5

    Re: 'Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis' - debuting on PBS

    Quote Originally Posted by dabbler
    While I support every opportunity to promote jazz, Mr McFarlin needs to take a course in jazz education himself. The names listed are not the biggest names in jazz at all - some would even question whether musicians like Botti are even playing jazz at all these days, but regardless, they all represent a TINY cross-section of what could potentially be broadly described as the jazz idiom. Being that it comes from the "International" Association in Jazz Education, he might also add that its the first time in 40 years that jazz has returned to US network television (which may or may not be accurate). I've watched numerous jazz shows here in Canada (I also watched numerous jazz shows in the UK when I was growing up, and I'm not 40 years old... getting there, but not quite).

    So, while I support this cause wholeheartedly and with great enthusiasm (and if I lived in the US would do something about it), the letter would have more credibility if it was accurate (not to mention minus the typos).


    Rich
    Hi Rich,

    I guess the concept of "legend" can always be fodder for great debate; I think Mr. McFarlin's point was to merely point out that jazz (and whatever permutations thereof) is deserving of whatever public attention it manages to garner. You certainly have the right to take issue with the "legend" status of anyone mentioned as such -- and I may agree with you on a few of them listed -- but, all in all, I think Legends of Jazz is just name and not meant to unduly mislead anyone.

    IAJE is a tremendously worthy organization devoted to continuing the exposure and development of jazz (in it's all-inclusive connotation) performance and appreciation among students of all levels at an international level. I applaud their efforts in this daunting endeavor.

    Best Regards,
    Danny

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