After a good deal of affectionate nudging from the Beloved, whose instincts are very fine, I began this blog on February 21, 2008 with a posting about the upcoming Jazz at Chautauqua.
Today JAZZ LIVES celebrates its second birthday and it has become an addiction, an obsession, and a thorough pleasure in ways I could not have predicted.
In those two years, the blog has gotten over 150,000 hits. I am very proud of this number, but my pride and delight is not about me as much as it is about my heroes. I now know, even more than before, that there are many more people I may never meet in person who share my passion for Frank Newton and Sidney Catlett, for Eddie Condon and live jazz videos from New York City, Chautauqua, and Whitley Bay. When I check my blog in the morning, as I do, and see that people have come to JAZZ LIVES because they’ve been looking for information about Kaiser Marshall, Jon-Erik Kellso, Hal Smith, Kevin Dorn, or Melissa Collard, I am excited. People who love this music often feel cut off from it by the modern world with its own relentless thrum; JAZZ LIVES has reminded me every day that I am surrounded by like-minded, appreciative men and women.
No one’s accosted me on the street, and I don’t expect that it will happen, but I was thrilled when someone approached me at Chartwell Booksellers last December (I had a video camera at the ready) and said, “Hey, are you that blogger Jazz Lives? I commented on your blog!” or words to that effect. And I could say back to him, after hearing his name, “Yes! I remember you!”
JAZZ LIVES has given me a huge affectionate community — friends from ten miles away, from South Korea, Australia, and Istanbul. I have been fortunate in being able to reconnect with people I knew in 1974. And I am continually reminded of the global nature of the Hot jazz community. Case in point: today I was sitting in a house in Sedona, Arizona, posting YouTube videos recorded ten years ago in Sweden, shared by a Swedish collector. I did not know two of the song titles. A new blog-pal from Canada and an established cyber-scholar from Australia told me what I didn’t know, in the sweetest and most encouraging way. That’s a marvelous testimony to the powerful, loving energies this music summons up, isn’t it?
I look forward to much more fun in 2010: more postings, more discoveries, more videos . . . more, more, more!
And my readers and viewers and commenters are the wonderful stimulus, an enthusiastic, sympathetic readership.
THANKS A MILLION! to all of you —