June 23, 2007 by Seth
So this week is jazz festival week in NYC. Fun time to be in the city. JVC and Vision Jazz both happening at the same time.
We have been at Vision every night this week in the balcony selling CDs. Opportunities like this are good if for no other reason than to see who our audience is on a global scale. We have a pretty good sense of our audience locally but festivals always bring an international audience. It’s also a nice opportunity to sell CDs. Anyway.
The Vision festival has been going on now for 12 years. It’s been 12 years since I graduated college. All the changes that I have gone through since then, have the performers, organizers, supporters and audience of the Vision Festival gone through a commiserate amount? I don’t know, but being at the festival has afforded me the opportunity to see some of these people up close. Not for me to say really, but 4 days in and I do come away with the feeling that some kind of growth or evolution is needed. Not in the music and not by the musicians, but by the audience. They should want more. I don’t know what that would translate to, but it just feels like that is what is out there. I sold a Steve Lehman CD to someone and he wrote me the next day to say how much he was enjoying it.
Before he bought it he asked me about our CDs with a particular interest in something untraditional. We met a woman in her 30s who goes out to hear music on a regular basis (a rarity believe me) who was more than familiar with our catalog and artists. None of this is new. The people or my opinion, but it what I am left with right now.
The Knitting Factory used to have a summer festival. Now being the Knit it was diverse, big and brawny, not to sound corny. Shows all over the city, very diverse schedule and ambitious. It drew a very different crowd than what you may typically see. Now maybe I am seeing it with rose colored glasses a decade or so later, I don’t know. Regardless of what it was it was another NYC festival.
I remember when a group of NYC artists took a very strong stance against the Knit and, from my perspective, Mihcael Dorf in particular regarding the festival. Long story, but I think it effected the NYC scene significantly, even to this day.