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FOOD FOR THOUGHT IN THE MUSIC WORLD | 1-4-2016
Happy New Year from the Project Jumpstart Team!

Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.

John Eaton

2015: THE YEAR OF JAZZ

In 2015 Jazz Reasserted Itself
The Washington Post: Andy Beta
Before jazz was eclipsed by rock music in the mid-’60s, it was the sound of civil rights, of black nationalism, of riot and protest in the street. Racial upheaval defined 2015, harking back to the way that it defined 1965. Artists like Kendrick Lamar now draw on the revolutionary sounds of jazz and find a way to make it work with their flow.

RESEARCH & OPINION

2015: The Year in Classical Music
The Washington Post: Anne Midgette
One of the country’s leading classical music writers looks back at the top stories, trends, and memorable performances of the year.

How the Arts Add to Urban Economies
CityLab: Richard Florida
A new study published in Economic Development Quarterly finds substantial evidence that performing arts organizations add to both the growth of the knowledge class and to urban economies broadly.

Looking at the Social and Emotional Benefits of the Arts
NEA: Melissa Menzer
Exciting new research from the NEA suggests that arts skills and experiences “… are a great thing for children’s social-emotional development!”

Musicians’ Union: Time To Restore Cuts In Orchestra Musicians Pay
International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians: Kevin Case
With the economic recovery, only a handful of recent contract settlements have featured genuinely healthy wage increases—and many of those contained offsetting benefit and work-rule cuts.

We Need New Operas On Demand, On Our Screens, Now
New Music Box: Nell Shaw Cohen
Leveraging streaming video on demand is one strategy that could be particularly effective at removing some major barriers to experiencing new operas.

Same-Sex Pas De Deux: Contemporary Ballet Begins To Reflect The 21st Century
New York Times: Alastair Macaulay
A wave of new choreography is showing multiple signs of change away from the usual 19th-century classics.

For the Hartford Symphony And Other Legacy Groups, A Dilemma Over Innovation
Hartford Courant: Dan Haar
The Hartford Symphony looks to capture new audiences through mixing digital performance technology with music, but fears the loss of their devoted followers and donors.  Where is the line between tradition and innovation?

NATIONAL

Sunday Performances Continue to Elude the Met
New York Times: Michael Cooper
While major opera houses around the world expand to Sunday, lack of agreements hinder the Met’s ability to extend performances.

Cleveland Orchestra Ratifies Three-Year Musicians’ Contract
The Plain Dealer: Zachary Lewis
According to the orchestra's CFO and lead negotiator, the new contract will allow the orchestra to to push forward with artistic planning, with ongoing strategies for attracting new listeners, and increased fundraising efforts.

Beethoven Composition Discovered in Greenwich
Greenwich Time: Robert Marchant
“Beethoven manuscripts turn up on the auction market with some regularity, but usually they’re known manuscripts. What makes this particularly interesting is this hadn’t garnered any notice… it was sitting in Greenwich all this time. Who knew?”

Here Come The Brides: Same-Sex Couples Try Out New Wedding Songs
NPR: All Things Considered
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states many same-sex couples are looking for a different kind of soundtrack for their wedding ceremonies.

Broadway Sensation ‘Hamilton’ Tweets up a Storm
Associated Press: Mark Kennedy
Another milestone has fallen thanks to the Broadway musical Hamilton — this time on Twitter. The microblogging website said Tuesday that there have been over 1 million tweets about the hip-hop show featuring the life of the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury.

INTERNATIONAL

The Music Equivalent Of Tate Modern – London’s Plans For A New World Class Concert Hall
Arts Professional UK: Frances Richens
The new centre aims to deliver “world-class acoustics” and have “education and accessibility at its core.”

Kurt Masur, Legendary New York Philharmonic Music Director, dies at 88
New York Times: Margalit Fox
Music director emeritus of the NY Philharmonic, Kurt Masur, who was credited with transforming the orchestra from a sullen, lackluster ensemble into one of luminous renown, died in Greenwich, Conn.

Itzhak Perlman Wins Israel’s $1M Genesis Prize (And He’s Giving Away The Money)
Forward: Ben Harris
Perlman is the third winner of the prize, and joins former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the actor Michael Douglas as recipients of the annual $1 million prize that has been dubbed the “Jewish Nobel.”

Alumnus Karim Wasfi Performs in Baghdad’s Streets
CNN (video)
Bringing music performance to the tense world of Iraq has been Wasfi’s life mission. A former student of Janos Starker, Wasfi is the former chief conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony.

Instrument-Lending Programs Spreading at Libraries Across Canada
The Globe & Mail: Selena Ross
A crescendo of interest in the idea is helping to bring instrument-lending to public libraries in three of Canada’s biggest cities.

Adele's ‘25' Is Now the Best-Selling Album Since Adele's ‘21'
New York Times: Ben Sisario
Adele has done it again. Her latest album, “25”, is at the top of the Billboard album chart for a fourth straight week, and is now officially the best-selling album since her second studio album, “21.”

Hip-Hop Music Speaking for Africa’s Disenfranchised Youth
The Globe and Mail: Geoffrey York
She’s the only female rapper in Mauritania: outspoken and fearless, reminiscent of a francophone Nicki Minaj. But when N’dat Bouwaner goes on TV or radio in her homeland the hosts warn her that she can’t talk about politics.

Mystery Cloaks a North Korean Pop Band’s Canceled Beijing Dates
New York Times: Jane Perlez
The stylish women of North Korea’s most famous pop band had just arrived in Beijing for a series of concerts when Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, requested the band’s immediate return.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Discogs Turns Record Collectors’ Obsessions Into Big Business
New York Times: Ben Sisario
After 15 years of growth, Discogs has become a vital resource for record collectors and the music industry, with a sprawling database of more than 6.5 million releases.

Easing Parkinson’s with Ballet
BBC (video)
New research finds a new way to east tremors, slow movements, and stiff muscles.

The Snapchat Story of iLoveMakonnen
The New Yorker: Colin Stokes
Makonnen Sheran, the hip-hop artist known as iLoveMakonnen, is an avid and whimsical social-media user, using the popular networks to engage with fans in an electronic cycle that is dizzying for the uninitiated.

For DJ Khaled, Snapchat Is a Major Key to Success
The New York Times: Jon Caramanica
For DJ Khaled, who has orchestrated some of the most anthemic hits of the last decade, Snapchat has become part of his daily routine. Every day he films his life, creating a mix that has become social media core curriculum.

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Pas De Deux For Two Naked Dancers And Drones
Japanista: Pamela Drobig
The creativity of some of Japan’s top marketing teams simply knows no bounds. This time, though, it’s about celebrating the perfect harmony of man and machine, through the combination of drones and dance.

’Tis the Season for ‘Best-Of’ Mixtape Exchanges with Friends and Family
The Globe and Mail: Josh O’Kane
How can you possibly navigate the convenience created by streaming music subscription services such as Apple Music and Spotify? By sharing your own mixtape.

DIGEST ARCHIVE

Enjoy reading all our past issues, organized chronologically >



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