Thanks to Ali Berkok for the post! I’m going to try and open the discussion. (Mostly with my own questions!)
1. Do Jazz musicians have a responsibility to be culturally relevant?
Musicians are culturally relevant whether they accept the responsibility or not.People are culturally relevant whether they accept the responsibility or not. How is it possible to be culturally irrelevant?
2. Do post-secondary institutions have a responsibility to highlight the supply vs. demand problem (i.e. too many players vs. too few gigs)?
If we’re analyzing from a supply/demand perspective, we would have do be more specific about what is being consumed (music, jazz music, listening music, background music, etc.). I’m also not convinced this is a problem. Is there any documentation on the subject? Could you give me an example of how an institution could highlight the ‘problem?’
3. What is your idea of career success?
Success can be measured in many different ways and there are many different paths one can take to achieve it. It’s a very important question to ask, but it’s also very personal and subjective.
4. To what extent ought musicians train to be creative artists? To what extent ought musicians train to be tradespeople? Does one come at the expense of the other?
What’s the difference between the two? Why is it exclusive? I think the answers depend a lot of an individual’s idea of career success.
5. What, if any, problems are inherent in identifying as a jazz musician?
From a marketing perspective, it’s potentially limiting to consistently group your music within a particular genre. When targeting a particular market, why not wait for them to identify you? If they call you a jazz musician, you’re a jazz musician. If they call you a pop musician, you’re a pop musician. You can’t change how they identify you, so why does it matter? Personally, if you’re hiring me, you can call my music anything you’d like. As long as I can still play what I play!