A New Year's Resolution: Support Local Jazz!

I'll keep this post short, because we should all be doing something Holiday-ish these days instead of sitting in front of our computers.

Yesterday I had a short conversation with Tell Me More guest host Jacki Lyden about music to spice up your Holiday parties. I started with some jazz from Bug, a California-based jazz outfit. As I mentioned in the interview, the band includes an old pal who is a working jazz musician based in Fresno, Calif. Here, the band plays its tune "Dark Matter":

I suggested the Bug record as a way to suggest a New Year's resolution that all jazz fans around the country can make good on: Seek out local jazz musicians in your area, and support them by attending their shows and buying their (often self-produced) CDs.

You probably won't find them in the big-time jazz clubs in your area, unless the club owner supports the local scene. (Not to start a club owner bashing session here — just that Big Rooms usually have financial obligations that don't lend themselves to paying bartenders and waitstaff to serve small crowds paying low cover charges.) As a result, many local jazz musicians get very creative in setting up their own gigs. You'll find them in coffee houses, bars, university campuses, civic performance spaces and anywhere else where they can squeeze into.

So look in every corner in your part of the world to find the local jazz talent, and let them know you're listening and appreciate their music. I guarantee you that you'll make someone's day.

And write back to us and let us know what you find. Send us links where we can read about and listen to the best "local" jazz musicians from every nook and cranny of the country. Share the love.

Happy holidays and happy listening!

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