When I first began to search out New York live jazz performances, the news of who was playing where and when was often available in my local newspaper, the New York Times, The New Yorker, even Down Beat. Some of the information, accessed weeks in advance, was no longer accurate by the time the gig happened, so there were some disappointments. And much of what I learned was by word-of-mouth: “Do you know that Buddy Tate has a gig on Saturday at The Onliest Place?” and that bit of information could be investigated by telephone.
It would seem that jazz fans have it much easier in 2014. The sources I’ve mentioned above still publish gig announcements, and several other periodicals — including The Wall Street Journal and New York — have joined in. I am very fond of Hot House Jazz Magazine (their first-rate website is here) and The New York Jazz Record (their website here) and both journals — free, published monthly — can be found at a variety of jazz clubs.
So that’s fine for someone who wants to plan out the next month’s gigs. But what if you are especially fond of X and her Urbanites, and want to know when they are making music? Of course, some media-wise creative types have their own websites; others have Facebook pages and event listings. Each is quite valuable.
But you might have to be a Facebook friend of X and the Urbanites (or X herself) and it is possible that X might be so busy writing charts and rehearsing that she hasn’t kept her website current.
There is a new cyber-resource in addition that I’d like to call your attention to: David S. Isenberg’s weekly music blog — THE FIRST KIND OF MUSIC (its title comes from the Ellington comment that there are only two kinds of music; you can imagine which one David is praising): see it here. I don’t entirely understand how it works: it Tumbles and Tweets at the same time? That sounds exhausting. But it’s a truly worthy effort to get more information out to an eager public about the gigging of people we love and love to hear. So do investigate. It’s so much nicer to know about the gig in advance than to hear about what-happened-last-night-that-you-missed.
May your happiness increase!