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Jazzers Fight Back

August 28, 2009

Unhappy with the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) study reported recently in The Wall Street Journal that found the jazz audience on the decline in the U.S.,(see Can Jazz Be Saved? ), a group of jazz journalists, broadcasters and advocates has launched a grass roots Twitter campaign to prove the study wrong.

The idea is to get people attending live jazz events over the next few weeks to report on the performers they hear and where they hear them via the social networking site Twitter. By adding the “hashtag” #jazzlives to their “tweets” listeners will ensure that their reports will be searched and collated.

According to Jazz Promo Services, one of the groups promoting the campaign, jazz is to be “defined loosely — as each listener who tweets chooses to define it.” Other groups involved include the Jazz Journalists Association, AllAboutJazz.com, and several major U.S. Jazz Festivals happening over the holiday weekend.

Canadians are encouraged to participate, according to Howard Mandel, a New York jazz journalist who is at the heart of the campaign. “Sure we’ll take Canadians!” he said in an email to Island Jazz, “We love you guys!”

A widget is available for inclusion on blogs and websites and can be obtained, along with more information, by writing to tweetjazzlives@gmail.com. Mandel’s website can be accessed at http://www.howardmandel.com.

– Rick Gibbs

Categories: General
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