the schedule with repertoire concerts promoting the idea of jazz as a composed

The schedule with repertoire concerts promoting the

This preview shows page 247 - 249 out of 311 pages.

the schedule with repertoire concerts, promoting the idea of jazz as a composed, fixed, historical entity. His biographer Leslie Gourse comments on the reasons for the alignment of jazz with classical music through the use of venue and the name of the programme: The center wanted to use the name Classical Jazz, [George] Weisman [chairman of the Lincoln Center board at the time] recalled, to ‘get it by the other constituents’ who were eager ‘to keep up the image of Lincoln Center as a place where classical [works] were presented’ with a nice orderly group of people performing and attending. 50 The establishment in 1988 of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, a top-level ensemble under the direction of Marsalis, ensured that musicians and the listening public remained familiar with Marsalis’ favoured repertoire. The high-profile nature of his position at Lincoln Center, and the publicity generated by his performing activities, enabled him to promote older styles of jazz. As Gourse comments, ‘fame gave him a forum to air his views about what was important in jazz history; with great certainty, he expounded upon the value of the tradition from the early days of the century to about 1965.’ 51 In 1996, Classical Jazz was voted a full constituent of the Lincoln Center, ‘equal in stature with the ten other organizations on campus including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan 50 Ibid .,191. 51 Ibid. , ix.
Image of page 247
239 Opera and New York City Ballet—a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a cultural institution.’ 52 At this time, the programme was renamed ‘Jazz at Lincoln Center’. Similar programmes were founded elsewhere in the years that followed—for example, Carnegie Hall gained its own jazz orchestra under the direction of trumpeter Jon Faddis in 1990—indicating that this classicised repertorial method of performing and hearing jazz was widespread in America. A distinction can be made between repertory bands such as these and the rehearsal bands used as training grounds for musicians in Britain—‘repertory bands’ were an American phenomenon, which were often tied to an established cultural institution (such as the Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall) and comprised a group of high-level professional musicians, working towards performances of the historic repertoire. 53 British ‘rehearsal bands’ provided opportunities for aspiring musicians to gain the technical and reportorial skills of playing in a big band, without the pressures of working towards public performance. I use a third term, ‘repertoire bands’, to describe coached bands within educational programmes, which combine the rehearsal function of rehearsal bands with the performances of repertory bands. Repertoire bands are a British equivalent to lab bands.
Image of page 248
Image of page 249

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture