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Connect Savannah July 11th, 2007


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News & Opinion

Jazz Fest never lost ‘mojo’

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ts n e M y a P y L h M t o n w Lo 7650 Abercorn St. 912-354-1500 •

| Feedback side negative vibes of a few. Indeed, in a city with the rich musical/cultural history that Savannah has, anything less would be in my opinion a shame. Irvin J. Green

Editor, In reading Jim Reed’s article “New Jazz City,” I’m wondering how is it that in the last couple of years what passes for the local music media has chosen to question A heart of art -- among other things itor: Editor, Ed e th to ss s ro - the line-up of the anm ac Letter ints letters fro pr ah t nn Thanks for your great no va Sa es Connect g a letter do nual Savannah Jazz of ideas. Printin the opin- column on the Arts and of t the spectrum en m rse Festival? ply our endo for necessarily im may be edited Economic Prosperity surtherein. Letters At last year’s ions expressed vey (“The state of the arts y. m .co space and clarit ah festival during nnectsavann is strong”). Speaking not ail: letters@co m Eintervals an ad32 Fax: 912.231.99 ., Suite 7, just as a musician but also Dr ry cto Vi E. 00 mittedly favorite 4 Snail mail: 18 as a member of the comnnah, GA 3140 va Sa topic of mine, the munity, I am thrilled that lack of at least somewhat you will be doing additional reportknowledgeable local music ing on this in future issues. writers, was briefly discussed. My take Thank you for pointing out the fanon that subject was/is that if one is a music tastic return on government arts spendwriter and doesn’t know anything about one ing. Compared to other countries, the of the true faces of the Mount Rushmore of U.S. has a poor record on government arts jazz -- legendary pianist/composer Randy spending, and this is an area that we should Weston (not to mention, Ernie Watts, promote. My experience has been that reKevin Mahogany, and the one & only David lying mostly if not completely on private Newman) then it’s about time for these writfunding can be a problem. ers to do some good ol’ fashioned homePeter Berquist work. To do less is in my view, a disservice to the readers who look to the local music writers for various live music info. Frozen not-so-Paradise Last year marked the 25th Savannah Jazz Editor, Festival and as a supporter/listener of jazz As a downtown resident it’s exciting to music, it was for me the best of the 20 that see that the city’s finally taking a positive poI’ve had the pleasure of attending. Year after sition on approving alcohol licenses. I beyear, the line-up for the jazz festival -- which lieve before any approvals are given there has featured legends & the best young talshould be an investigation conducted. All ent has more than held its own with any jazz businesses and residents that would be affestival in the country. fected by the bar should have their voice I’ve wondered often about the writers heard. who attend every year the various jazz fesIf the owner of the bar is a previous tivals in Chicago, Detroit and Monterey owner of another bar, then the history of - how would they cover the artists that the that bar should be part of the investigation. Coastal Jazz Association’s been bringing to If the owner has had problems in other esour fair city? Perhaps the way they do when tablishments then there’s a great possibilthose SAME great artists come and play ity that there will be similar problems at the their respective festivals. new establishment. And while the festival hasn’t had big It’s amazing someone would apply for a sponsors coming out of the woodworks like license for liquor sales on a Sunday when other local festivals, the musicians who have they are not serving food and they know played here come because they can just play that’s against the law! their music. The Savannah Jazz Festival reQuality of Life issues should be the nummains the ONE event in this city that conber one concern. Quality of Life issues not tinues to bring together the whole city only affect residents, but also the thriving -- regardless of race, sex, economic backbusinesses and tourist of our great city. grounds, etc. I would like to point out issues I have Since Mr. Reed was patting himself on with a couple of statements that were in the the back for a past article which he believes article in the daily newspaper. A statement led to what he terms “upgrades” to this years was made about a hearing being held confestival in the form of “smooth jazz” artists, cerning the problems with the Broughton he should know that innovative musicians street bar 10 years ago and there haven’t who pioneered the musical concept long bebeen any problems since. This statement is fore Madison Avenue put a marketing title far from the truth. on it -- like Herbie Mann & just two years As a resident of Broughton Street since ago the great Roy Ayers -- have played some 2002 I can say there have been many meet“rhythm & jazz” for the dancing crowd at ings with the police department, SDRA, previous jazz festivals. DNA and City officials. The issues addressed Just as the fine saxophonist Vincent were noise, crime, traffic, litter and loitering. Herring, who was mentioned in Mr.Reed’s A statement was made that neighboring article as closing out this year’s festival, this businesses haven’t mentioned any problems. will making his fourth appearance as a CJA Many of the businesses just gave up after festival performer. years of complaints that fell on deaf ears. I hope the organization continues on JoAnn Benton doing the right thing -- without the out-

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Connect Savannah July 11, 2007  

Connect Savannah July 11, 2007