Friday, September 21, 2007
Forecasting The Future
As noted in an earlier post, I'll be taking part next Saturday in a day-long symposium on jazz and globalization being staged at Columbia University's School of Journalism in Manhattan.
The panel I'll be on — along with Bill Shoemaker (top left, Washington, DC), Maxi Sickert (top right, Germany) and Cyril Moshkow (far left, Moscow) — will be addressing the topic: "Who are the new musicians of our time? What are the local and international traditions and aesthetics that inform their work? What kinds of aesthetic, economic, methodological, and cultural alignments are musicians pursuing in the 21st Century?" K. Leander Williams (near left) is the moderator.
As I've also posted, I'm in the middle of putting together a feature-length obituary of Joe Zawinul, and the more I listen to Zawinul's music and talk to people like drummer Peter Erskine and producer Bob Belden the more it's clear that Zawinul could really serve as the model for the modern jazz musician of the world. Many of the people who seem to be changing the traditional definition of a jazz musician — and I would include people like Vijay Iyer, Myra Melford, Cuong Vu, Dave Douglas, Gordon Grdina and John Hollenbeck in this category — are coming from backgrounds other than the standard music institutions and often pursuing musical careers only after other intellectual interests. Their music, like Zawinul's, reflects their diversity of backgrounds and interests, and they are finding new avenues to get their music heard.
Anyway, lots to think about and synthesize into a presentation for next week.
Plans are firming up to have a live webcast of the symposium, which features a wide range of jazz journalists from around the world, and to open the proceedings up to a broad audience through a live blog that Philadelphia-based writer David Adler will be maintaining on the Jazz Journalists Association website. Tune in!