‘Not Much’ Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) 2019 ‒ Before you accuse me of hating, know that I want the event to succeed. But what I’m hearing from people who regularly attend concerns me.
I’ve heard complaints mostly about high ticket prices and the fair-to-middling talent lineup. Attendance has dropped, which causes vendors to complain about the lack of customers.
My two cents to the folks running JITG? Get away from the big, relatively expensive names (Lionel Richie), some of whom can’t perform anymore (Bobby Brown), and those who mail in a lip-synced performance (Brandy).
I know JITG bills itself as a “music festival,” but I say go back to its jazz roots. Now, that means regional jazz-funk bands that are less expensive and are ‘built’ to perform for live audiences. Examples: New Orleans bands like the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, the New Birth Brass Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Washington, D.C. “go-go” bands like the Chuck Brown Band, Backyard Band and Rare Essence. Less expensive groups specializing in live music allows ticket prices to be dropped, attracts a more diverse crowd looking for a new musical experience at a reasonable cost, and allows vendors to make more money.
It’s also a SIN and a disgrace that the Dillard High School Jazz Band in Fort Lauderdale, consistently the best high school jazz band in the country, does not annually perform at an event with “JAZZ” in its name. Need proof of how good Dillard’s program and its musicians are? The two musicians who form Black Violin ‒ I heard they set JITG on fire ‒ are both Dillard alumni. (Full disclosure: my son Charles III is a 9th grade musician at Dillard.)
Trump impeachment “not worth it” ‒ So says U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, who claims that impeachment would be “too divisive.” The country’s already divided, Madame Speaker. Why get wobbly-kneed now? Take a tip from King Don: “Nothing’s off the table.” Leave King Don and the GOP in suspense. Why wait until the Mueller report is released? It’s irrelevant, because the focus there is on Russia. Let the dogs out now. There are enough questions about Donald Trump’s behavior as president to have full-blown hearings. Or is King Don above the law? Which brings me to…
Operation “Varsity Blues” and rich (mostly White) privilege ‒ Some filthy stinking rich celebrities, bankers, lawyers, and business people (none of them Black to my knowledge, but maybe a Latino or two) believed that their academically and athletically average kids were entitled to attend elite colleges and universities like Stanford, Yale, and UCLA. The feds charged about 50 of them (just the tip of the wealth and privilege iceberg) with criminal fraud this week.
From USA Today: “They faked disabilities (to get an unfair advantage on entrance exams). They photoshopped faces onto different students’ bodies (to qualify for admission as athletes). They paid millions in bribes, feds say ‒ all part of a scam to ensure rich American families got into the nation’s most selective colleges. And they got caught.”
One of the parents paid to have someone take her kid’s Scholastic Aptitude Test, resulting in a 400-point score increase (from 1,000 to 1,400. A 1,600 is perfect.) Nobody questioned the increase. Meanwhile, a Black Miami Gardens high school senior had her SAT score invalidated after she posted a 330-point increase (from 900 to 1,230). Can someone ‘splain that to me?
There’s more. One celebrity daughter, who is making big money blasting empty-headed videos to her 1.2 million-plus YouTube followers, says she only wanted to attend the University of Southern California “for partying and game day.” She’s only in college because her mom and dad ‒ who may end up in federal prison ‒ forced her to go. Ironic and disgusting…
“Brothers, What’s Your Motivation?” Thanks for your concern about my first article last week. I am cancer-free! That is all…