Keeping Jazz Alive: Digby Joins the Fray!


Digby Fairweather and Chris Hodgkins

Digby Fairweather and Chris Hodgkins

Ahead of this site’s “Keeping Jazz Alive” series, Digby Fairweather  joined the fray as early as September, 2012, with an excellent article in The Telegraph entitled “Why we must fight to keep jazz alive.” The Telegraph introduced the feature: “Digby Fairweather, a renowned British jazz writer and musician, says it is time to fight for the great music of jazz.”

Digby began by tracing the demise of jazz: “Within two years, the arrival of the Beatles and the rock revolution – probably the most stunning of its kind ever to transform popular culture – would send jazz skidding helplessly into a cultural siding from which it has never since emerged.”

But he continued: “And yet – somehow, stranded within that artistic siding – the music has survived until now; not with honours but with a display of durability that has consistently defied and survived the suffocating blanket of the popular music industry.”

Then he traced the story of jazz bringing us right up to date with emerging trends:

“Jazz triumphantly survives; pushed on relentlessly by the unshaken determination of its performers to continue presenting its creative glories …… Performers from every jazz generation meet regularly with bright-eyed young people who ask: ‘what is this music we’ve never heard?’. The youthful movement that once set up a tribal resistance to it – via the loud mouthing of John Lennon and now -forgotten groups with names like ‘Johnny hates Jazz’ – is long gone; replaced by a thriving underground movement full of stars in the making and their followers. Examples? Most nights a club in Greenwich called ‘Oliver’s’ is packed by young brilliant jazz musicians and open-eared fans; a situation arguably comparable to Liverpool’s ‘Cavern Club’ half a century ago. Come up to ground level and there are more interesting ripples amid what was once a once drab seascape ……… So is there, conceivably, new jazz revival on the way?”

You can read Digby’s entire article here: Why we must fight to keep jazz alive.

The revival is continuing apace since the article was published in 2012 and Jazz&Jazz readdresses the issues in the following posts on Keeping Jazz Alive:

Part 1: “Our audience is dying and there is little we can do!”
Part 2: Sammy Rimington: “In The Upper Garden”
Part 3: Outstanding London Debut For Young Catalonian Jazz Star Andrea Motis
Part 4: Continuing the Debate: KEEPING JAZZ ALIVE

Live Jazz in London – Digby with the Covent Garden Marching Band in June this year:

Photo & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz

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