I understand how it happens. Jazz festivals use marketing people. Marketing people who know a lot about marketing but little about jazz.
It happened at Cheltenham this year. The festival had a lot of seriously big name jazz players but initially you wouldn’t have known that from its website, because the people who put that together went with the people they had heard of or who looked attractive. At least that, I must assume, was what happened. I wrote about it here.
Now it’s the turn of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, who nearly did the right thing but, oh dear, possibly for the wrong reason. Hey, let’s use this pic for the poster. This guy looks cool. He looks like what we think of when we think about jazz.
Whatever, the reason, the EJ&BF marketing guys and gals have done good. They have put a nice big picture of one of the most up-to-the-minute, interesting, talented – superb in every way, and super-cool, too – contemporary jazz movers, and an exceptionally fine trumpeter to boot, on their poster (and on the front of their programme). But on that same poster, while such players as gypsy-jazzers Rose Room (know them?), singer Niki King (anyone?) and bluesman Mud Morganfield (heard of him?) have been included by name, nowhere can be seen the name of the aforementioned trumpeter: Ambrose Akinmusire.
Was it the name that was just too difficult? Can he really just be one of the “and many more…”? Or was it that while the image is immediately comprehensible to a non-jazz marketer, the actual man and his music are a mystery?
Ah well, at least the festival’s programmer has ears! And at least the marketing department got this pedantic old git’s attention…
- Find out all that’s on offer, including Ambrose Akinmusire, the Antonio Sanchez Migration, Tommy Smith’s Karma, Scott Hamilton, Paul Towndrow, Ryan Quigley, Calum Gourlay, Zoe Rahman, Warren Vache, George Benson and Stefano Bollani, at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, which runs from 17 to 26 July 2015, here.