"Jazz is nothing but a terminology. BAM is a terminology. It’s just a phrase that’s been created for identification. Think about black people in general in this country. We’ve been called Negro, Colored, Black, Afro-American and now African American. Who decides these terms? Are they bad, good, or neutral? Or, are they just simply terms? Jazz has always been Black American music and musicians who play it no matter what culture they’ve come from need to understand that and I know deep down inside do understand that.”
Bassist and Composer Christian McBride
Since November of last year, trumpeter and educator Nicholas Payton has eloquently written on the negative connotation that the word ‘jazz’ has created over the last 40 years. His first blog posting “On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore,” posted on NicholasPayton.wordpress.com, has him explain that “jazz died in 1959.” In addition to him not liking the term ‘jazz,’ Nicholas has vowed to refrain from using the word in its entirety. He even went as far as to create the acronym “# BAM,” meaning Black American Music. He wants the music fans and lovers of Black American Music to reconsider how we coin the term ‘jazz’ and how labels have both direct and indirect meanings that have tainted the history of Black American Music.
In addition to Nicholas posting many important articles weekly on his blog, he’s continued to reach out to his many music fans who’ve agreed and disagreed with his take on # BAM via Twitter(twitter.com/#!/paynic) and Facebook(facebook.com/nicholas.payton).
Nicholas recently hosted the first “Inaugural #BAM Conference” at Birdland Jazz Club recently here in New York City. The conference was moderated by writer and MSNBC commentator Toure’, saxophonist and educator Gary Bartz, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, bassist Ben Wolfe, and pianist and bassist Orrin Evans. Organized and produced by Anna Sala of AMS Artists Management, the music industry along with the press, took part in the constructive dialog about the origins of Black American Music. Also, the panelists gave ideas on how live BAM music needs to get back to the people.
The Pace Report proudly presents the first “Inaugural #BAM Conference” in its entirety. Please watch this and continue the constructive dialog on Black American Music.
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