Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vortex Jazz Research on jazz and radio

It was a fascinating afternoon yesterday discussing the field of radio and jazz. Nerve-wracking as I didn't know how many would attend. But there was enough of a balance between experts in radio and experts in jazz to give a good dialogue, as it warmed up. We had 16 there, ranging from John Cumming of Serious, through Bernd Hoffmann, head of jazz at WDR, Femi Adeyemi of NTS Radio based at the Vortex, Ross Dines of Pizza Express, Seb Scotney of londonjazz, Russell Finch of Jazz on 3 to Charlotte Keech, manager of Ian Shaw.

Thanks to all who came.

For now just a few interesting pointers:

  • public radio is under pressure, not just in the UK, but also in Germany, where currently there is over 4000 hours of jazz a month on the 11 public radio stations. WDR alone presents on average 80 minutes a day, according to Bernd Hoffmann. However, resources are being squeezed with the legislation moving towards more private stations. Unfortunately, many of these do not have the resources to give proper opportunities for recording etc.
  • internet radios can provide quite a crossover between radio in the traditional way, but merging it with film, dialogue etc.
  • Good radio still is dependent on good presenters.
  • Existing public radio lacks the chance to find out about new releases. This is often compensated by small community stations which are developing. Record sales of jazz anyway down by up to 75%. This is partly due to ignorance, especially with no small shops to help out.
  • Don't expect podcasts to fill the gap which a lack of public (BBC) broadcasting may lead to.
  • It's too easy, in a private sector world, to dilute jazz broadcasts, especially if there is no clarity about this. eg., by only creating compilation shows or making a definition of jazz which is too broad. Jazz radio has a responsibility to help out people to understand what is out there, not just about the contemporary releases but also historic elements.
Any of those there are welcome to add further thoughts by signing in.

I am also looking for the next subjects. Any thoughts?

1 comment:

The LondonJazz site said...

Thanks for setting it up. For a first venture it was very successful.

Just an idea: How about one on the future of small record labels?

Here's a starter....