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Jazz Festivals – Where’s the Jazz?

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Jazz festivals have increasingly had to battle the trend toward commercialization triggered by the very real need for economic support. Big name sponsors have often led programming away from “purist” offerings to acts with broad appeal, turning jazz festivals into stages for the latest ZZ Top reunion tour. How can festivals featuring genres with smaller, but extremely devoted, fans balance their economic needs with interesting programming? George Wein, the legendary impresario behind the Newport and New Orleans Jazz and Folk Festivals, shares his thoughts on the changing landscape of the jazz festival circuit. We’ll also speak with jazz journalist Larry Blumenfeld about the latest developments in European jazz festivals. And, correspondant Kim Greene takes us to small-town Manchester, Tennessee for the Bonnaroo Festival, a rock festival that brings Woodstock into the 21st century.
Additional Resources:
» George Wein’s Festival Productions
» An International Jazz Festivals Guide
» Bonnaroo Festival
» WNYC's "Sounds of Summer" 2004