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Discussion Starter #1
Hope this is in the right forum, but mods, feel free to move it if not.

I've had a lot of discussions of late about jazz, the fact that it might be dying, irrelevant blah blah blah....none of which I agree with. And I'm wondering if there's anyone on these boards who can help, point me in the right direction etc to get an answer to a question - Which group(s) of people make up the jazz demographic?

Does anyone have links to any statistical studies or the like? It would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
 

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I guess it depends on how you define jazz. Think about who you see at concerts, depending on who is playing. Latin jazz? Smooth jazz? Trad jazz? And are you looking at players, attendees at live concerts, or purchasers on iTunes?
The crowd I saw at a Maceo Parker concert was different than what I saw at a Chris Potter workshop.
 

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Re: Jazz - Cynically speaking

The jazz audience I notice is old, white, hobbyist types, about 2/3 male, who live in metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts. They may have some money but they are not very elegant or hip folks. They look like the people in the audience on C SPAN. They usually have tote bags. Some of them will talk your ear off.
 

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My observations are strictly empirical and confined to a small sector of jazz - Australian trad.

Judging by the folks who attend festivals, belong to jazz clubs or turn up specifically for the music at my gigs the principal demographic is retired couples who like to dance and hang out together. Generally they know little about the music itself but they know it's the only cheap live music that fits their dance style which is mainly foxtrot. They're happiest when we play old pop or country standards at a medium tempo. A small percentage like to listen and will applaud solos etc but the majority have no idea of the iconic repertoire.

Of the few relatively younger folk there is a strong subset of jive dancers who like boogies or up tempo blues. They also turn up at old style rock and roll dances and once again, they don't know much about the music itself.

There doesn't seem to be any really young audience at all. In fact most of the young people I know who are into this music are musicians themselves, and good ones too. Because they drag their friends along, gigs with them can skew the demographic a bit, but not in any sustained way.

So the average age for MY sector of jazz at the moment I would say is early 70s. My guess is that it won't be long before the average age is deceased.
 

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Re: Jazz - Cynically speaking

The jazz audience I notice is old, white, hobbyist types, about 2/3 male, who live in metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts. They may have some money but they are not very elegant or hip folks. They look like the people in the audience on C SPAN. They usually have tote bags. Some of them will talk your ear off.
:tsk: I dispute those findings based on my own observation:

old -- watch your language sonny, that's a derogatory ageist perjorative....the pc term is mature
white -- seen many albinos in jazz clubs? The correct terms are paleface, ofay & grayboy
2/3 male -- Oh...are they playing jazz at Jacque's now?
bi-coastal -- Chicago is on which coast?
money -- some only some of the time...accepting donations, PM me for paypal address
not elegant -- but far more so than country music fans, rockers and hip-hoppers
not hip -- wrong! Terminally hip, because we invented the concept.
C-Span watcher -- You really need to remember to take your medication...that was the dayroom in the lobotomy ward
tote bag -- So you were at Jacque's, weren't you? Backpacks only spoken here.
talkative -- Hey, did I tell you about the time I was at the Vanguard and blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum......

:mrgreen: [rolleyes]:mrgreen::bluewink::twisted:
 

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My guess is that it won't be long before the average age is deceased.
At which time you'll have to tell your agent to book more gigs on the funeral parlor circuit.:whistle:
 

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well, this site http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/network/demographics.php

quotes some statistics about the American market of Jazz listeners (or are they real statistics, there is no mention of the source!) which sound plausible to me and comparable to the situation in Holland and other countries that I know.


Jazz Audience Demographics (As of February 2008)
Gender

Male - 79%
Female - 21%
Education
No College/High School - 4%
College - 50%
Graduate School - 46%
Household Income ($)
0-30K - 21%
30-60K - 28%
60-100K - 19%
100K - 32%
Age
18-24 - 12%
25-34 - 21%
35-44 - 22%
45-54 - 23%
55-64 - 15%
60+ - 7%
Top US Metro Areas
New York
Los Angeles
Philadelphia
San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
Washington DC
Boston
Chicago
Seattle/Tacoma
Dallas/Fort Worth
Atlanta
Denver
Detroit
Miami/Fort Lauderdale
Minneapolis/Saint Paul
Hartford/New Haven
Phoenix
Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto
San Diego
Houston
Raleigh/Durham
Baltimore
Albany/Schenectady/Troy
Portland, OR
Nashville
Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne
Kansas City
Tampa/Saint Petersburg
St/ Louis
Pittsburgh
Cleveland
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well, this site http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/network/demographics.php

quotes some statistics about the American market of Jazz listeners (or are they real statistics, there is no mention of the source!) which sound plausible to me and comparable to the situation in Holland and other countries that I know.


Jazz Audience Demographics (As of February 2008)
Gender

Male - 79%
Female - 21%
Education
No College/High School - 4%
College - 50%
Graduate School - 46%
Household Income ($)
0-30K - 21%
30-60K - 28%
60-100K - 19%
100K - 32%
Age
18-24 - 12%
25-34 - 21%
35-44 - 22%
45-54 - 23%
55-64 - 15%
60+ - 7%
Top US Metro Areas
New York
Los Angeles
Philadelphia
San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
Washington DC
Boston
Chicago
Seattle/Tacoma
Dallas/Fort Worth
Atlanta
Denver
Detroit
Miami/Fort Lauderdale
Minneapolis/Saint Paul
Hartford/New Haven
Phoenix
Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto
San Diego
Houston
Raleigh/Durham
Baltimore
Albany/Schenectady/Troy
Portland, OR
Nashville
Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne
Kansas City
Tampa/Saint Petersburg
St/ Louis
Pittsburgh
Cleveland
Bewdyful, sensational, well done and so forth. Thanks a lot for that milandro, that's the stuff I was hoping for.
 

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milandro said:
Male - 79%
Female - 21%
That right there tells us it's become a hobby. :( The cachet is gone - few think of jazz as artistic or stylish anymore. That's where you lose all the females, and most of the couples. Instead of being part of an enjoyable lifestyle, it becomes a refuge for people whose lives are dull.
 

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That right there tells us it's become a hobby. :( The cachet is gone - few think of jazz as artistic or stylish anymore. That's where you lose all the females, and most of the couples. Instead of being part of an enjoyable lifestyle, it becomes a refuge for people whose lives are dull.
I think you've always lost the females. 21%/79% seems a lot higher than the performer distribution.
 

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Peter Frampton is headlining the Montreal International Jazz Festival this summer. Peter effing Frampton! Crunch that data for me please!!!
 

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jazz served a purpose in the evolution of music from the turn of the century up to about the '50's. but that role has diverged from the path that jazz's maturity has led it...

. jazz was the hottest, hippest music back when it was young, and it's birth/young development were timed just right to fit a prosperous time and the new recording industry. but the times, they are a changin', and other music has trumped jazz for the hearts/minds of the young crowds. jazz may have spoken to practically all the youth back then (when there were practically no alternatives), but the '50s ushered in rock-n-roll, then came disco, then hip-hop. jazz became irrelevant to the younger generation and it's maturity does not appeal to them. resultingly, it's demographic becomes smaller overall, older, and more mature (in general).

.when jazz was 'big', EVERYONE listened to it. and blues was included in that genre. well, everyone except the classical/opera/orchestral fans (but those were a sparse, older demographic ;>/). the options, in terms of genre, were limited. nowadays, variety has exploded, and the kids have an option(s) that may only appeal to them for a limited time, and don't appeal to many people just a bit older. jazz ushered in diversity, liberty, and individual creativity, which attracted a great crowd. but that innovation has blossomed a complexity in divergence as well as maturity that naturally dissipates the demographics, while adding an overall richness to the community.
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the demographic i see at performances are just as mentioned before... almost all older folks (60+), sometimes 40+. the kids just don't show up - but i don't expect them to (music is not relevant for them compared to their other options). consider american idol's recent contestant hailey (from chicago with a musician father) - she could sing jazz/jazzy, and when she did, the 'votes' were not as good as they should have been (most voters are young kids). i suspect AI's results would be much different if they limited votes to a more mature age group/demographic, but they make less money that way.
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i have pondered as to why these older folks are jazz fans - was it the hip music of their 'day'? 1920-1940/50 would put someone at 60-90yrs old...hmmm, sounds familiar. is jazz just a music that appeals to a different, more mature mindset?- maybe, but time will tell. classical music has been 'dead' in america since (maybe before) jazz came along, but people still play it and listen to it (i can't figure out why ;>/) - maybe jazz will occupy a similar niche, but i think jazz will be more successful because it is based on those principles that allow it to grow/change. and, just maybe, it HAS changed - into R&R, R&B, Disco, HipHop. well?
 

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I have said it many times now in other threads. The function of jazz has changed in time. It was once a form of popular entertainment from the beginning of the 20th century until the first half it was dance music, it then became the music of an emerging young and intellectual generation until in the '60 this role was take over by rock music. Jazz was then ushered in the more official and codified culture forms leaving the smoky clubs and entering the theatres and the conservatories . It became a music for a older, highly educated and more affluent generation. I think those figures show just that.
 

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I have said it many times now in other threads. The function of jazz has changed in time. It was once a form of popular entertainment from the beginning of the 20th century until the first half it was dance music, it then became the music of an emerging young and intellectual generation until in the '60 this role was take over by rock music. Jazz was then ushered in the more official and codified culture forms leaving the smoky clubs and entering the theatres and the conservatories . It became a music for a older, highly educated and more affluent generation. I think those figures show just that.
that rings clear in my ears, milandro!

curiosity makes me ask why would someone want to ask the demographic question? i suppose there are various reasons, but one would be to evaluate a market and career potential. that it?
 

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that rings clear in my ears, milandro!
I have been eaten alve other times to have implied that Jazz is an intellectualised art form which has now pretty much the same function of classical music (nothing wrong with that it is just a matter of fact)
 

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Jazz was then ushered in the more official and codified culture forms leaving the smoky clubs and entering the theatres and the conservatories ..[/QUOTE]

That's exactly what happened. I saw it happen sometime between the late '70s to early '80s. I grew up with a lot of jazz in 'smoky clubs' and small venues that were 'hip' at the time, in the early '70s, and the demographic was a pretty wide mix (maybe partly because it was the SF Bay Area, but not entirely). Drinks were cheap, admission price was low, you could sit where you wanted, including at the bar, come and go as you pleased, and the music went on for several hours. Most importantly, a lot of great jazz musicians were still around and playing these gigs ('m talking about Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Roland Kirk, Pharoah Sanders, Phil Woods, Zoot Simms, Mingus, and the list goes on.....). None of that exists anymore as far as I can see and it all began to disappear sometime around 1980 or a bit earlier.

I think jazz got too damn 'respectable' or something like that.
 

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I have said it many times now in other threads. The function of jazz has changed in time. It was once a form of popular entertainment from the beginning of the 20th century until the first half it was dance music, it then became the music of an emerging young and intellectual generation until in the '60 this role was take over by rock music. Jazz was then ushered in the more official and codified culture forms leaving the smoky clubs and entering the theatres and the conservatories . It became a music for a older, highly educated and more affluent generation. I think those figures show just that.
Yeah bebop was the jumping off point. It was not well received at first. It required intellect and complete mastery of your instrument. Played at speeds that few attempt today. Those guys were in a hurry.

Although ironically it was cool to be into jazz among high school students. Especially to dig Miles or wear a beret like Diz.

We even had a cap we called a bebop.

The top 40 stations in the late fifties and early sixties were eclectic.

You heard everything from Lee Morgan to Patsy Cline. They just played good music.

The record companies are the ones that started segregating the genres.

Now they are calling poets vocalists and vocalists musicians. Confusion.
 
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