Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ottawa Citizen: kiss my musical ass

A open letter to the Ottawa Citizen:

Regarding your coverage of this year's Jazz Festival, I do not understand why you chose to ignore the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra's performance at the NAC. No reporter sent, and not even a mention in your wrap-up review (in which you do find time to whine about the jam sessions...).

Why were we overlooked? Is it because we're "local", and thus perhaps perceived as untalented or not worthy? It could not have been the music; it's not every day you get to hear an augmented Big Band (standard line-up plus 2 French horns and tuba) play music by Ellington, Coltrane, and Kenton; music that is rarely heard because it needs a large and expensive group to make it happen; music that in many cases has never been heard in Canada before. No, it couldn't be that... it must have been because we're local.

Look - we were the only Ottawa group to take part in that NAC series, with over 20 of Ottawa's finest professional musicians. And Adrian Cho worked extremely hard to bring us all together (imagine trying to schedule rehearsals with over 20 busy people?). And we musicians got paid, but he did it all for free. He even paid for the arrangements that came in from New York out of his own pocket. That's called dedication, out of a desire for nothing more that to hear this great music get played.

And it seems that you people could care less. Thank you so much for being a true supporter of live music in Ottawa. Any wonder there's no real jazz scene in this city, when you know the local papers won't bother to tell anyone what's going on! Maybe you'll enjoy a jazz festival full of "acts from elsewhere", because if local talent cannot find work (due to lack of promotion) it either 'quits and gets a day job', or just moves (as many have) to become part of that great "elsewhere".


N said...

Can't believe you didn't get any coverage! Hope it makes an impression on someone at the Citizen. If the ensemble does another gig let me know (since, as a regular Citizen reader, I'll be in the dark), Eric loves Jazz and hopefully I could get him to come if we're both free.

Anonymous said...

How frustrating it must be for you and your fellow musicians to not be recognized for your hard work and passion--not to mention, skill!! I'm glad you wrote this, and I hope it gets published!