Jazz Audiences Initiative News

Jazz Audiences InitiativeThank you for your interest in the Jazz Audiences Initiative (JAI)! We’ve spent the past several months planning the work and launching survey protocols. We are now to the point where we will have interesting data to share and periodic learning opportunities.

The Jazz Arts Group is the lead organization for JAI, having received a $200,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to support this project. The Duke funding has allowed us to leverage several thousand more dollars from the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Columbus Foundation to support this groundbreaking research for JAG and the field of jazz.

In this communication, you will find information about:

  • A general overview of the Jazz Audiences Initiative
  • Overview of the Music Listening Study and Webinar Opportunity
  • Literature Review
  • Status of the Market Segmentation Research on Current Jazz Ticket Buyers
  • A summary of Key Findings

JAI Overview:

JAI has been designed to study fundamental questions about how and why people engage with jazz. The main goal is for us to learn new ideas for engaging audiences, and infusing the art form with new energy.

JAI is the catalyst for:

  1. Collecting and analyzing attitudes and behaviors of jazz ticket buyers across the U.S.
  2. Examining music preferences and concert-attendance trends in central Ohio
  3. Developing and testing new strategies for engaging more people with all kinds of jazz experiences
  4. Generating ideas for meaningful involvement opportunities (programs, venues) that speak to a larger constituency, and eliminate barriers to participation
  5. Developing and testing the persuasiveness of new messages/language designed to motivate current and potential jazz audiences
  6. Creating a community of learning for jazz professionals to support ongoing dissemination of information and the implementation of effective new ideas and practices

Music Listening Study:

This exploratory study, conducted by Dr. Joe Heimlich, OSU Extension, began with the intention of learning how people label different forms of music, the language they use to describe different music, and how they discuss what they hear. We were hoping to identify common language that could inform the market segmentation study process.

Forty-seven people participated in the survey ranging in age from 23 to 72. Individual 45-minute interviews began with questions about the person’s interest in music and prior musical experience or training. The person then listened to several 90-second cuts of different types of music, out of a possible 63 cuts representing a variety of musical genres.

Click here for the Music Listening Study final report.

Click here for a table of all cuts and artists used for the Music Listening Study.

public webinar was held on January 28, 2011, hosted by Jerry Yoshitomi and Dr. Heimlich, to allow interested partners to share reactions to the data and ask clarifying questions.

Literature Review:

Though not part of our original plan, we determined in January 2010 that the research process would benefit from the creation of a literature review to bring together insights from many academic and practitioner sources. Bijan Warner, a graduate of the University of Chicago, was hired to conduct this review.

While academic research on arts participation offers several insights into ways of thinking about jazz audiences, there are few studies that address vital questions (see above) for developing jazz audiences. This literature review was conducted with a broad scope to highlight the accessible information on jazz audiences, and is not a final authority on the question of how to promote jazz audiences.

Click here for the Literature Review.

A public webinar was held on 2/8/11 about this work. We encourage you to add to the discussion and add to the body of knowledge.

Market Segmentation Research on Current Jazz Ticket Buyers:

The National Survey of Jazz Audiences was launched electronically in August to a random sample of several thousand jazz ticket buyers across the country. Respondents were asked questions about: 1) types of arts activities they participate in; 2) their feelings about jazz; 3) venues and environments they like to attend; 4) knowledge of artists; and 5) thoughts about how they anticipate engaging with music in the future. This survey was in the field through October 2010 and data collection has now closed.

National Research Partners with JAG for the Jazz Ticket Buyer Survey:

  • Jazz St. Louis
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City
  • San Francisco Jazz
  • Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Consortium of 13 University Presenters w/ Jazz Ticket Buyers
    • University of Pennsylvania – Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
    • University of Iowa – Hancher Auditorium
    • University of Illinois – Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
    • University of California, Davis – Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
    • Penn State Center for the Performing Arts
    • Stanford Lively Arts
    • University of Texas at Austin – Texas Performing Arts
    • University of Arizona – UApresents
    • University of Maryland – Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
    • University of Minnesota – Northrop
    • UMS
    • University of Florida Performing Arts
    • The Ohio State University – Wexner Center for the Arts
    • Monterey Jazz Festival
    • Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

National Marketing and Information Dissemination Partners:

  • Jazz Education Network

JAI Convening & Key Findings

The Jazz Arts Group, with support from The Columbus Foundation, convened the national research and dissemination partners from the Jazz Audiences Initiative (JAI), as well as additional leaders from the field of jazz in Columbus, Ohio on August 11 & 12, 2011. This convening was scheduled at a critical point in the project’s timeline – the pivotal point between collecting data and information, and determining implications of the data. The goals of the convening were to:

  1. illuminate and explore the implications of the key research findings for future policy and practical applications;
  2. identify three to five key focus areas with future recommendations; and
  3. create real-time applications for the use of the Jazz Audiences Initiative Listening Study, Literature Review, Ticket Buyer Segmentation and Prospect Segmentation research.

The JAI project team was most interested in learning how participants would prioritize the findings. We also wanted to capture their ideas for ways to put the data into practice, with the ultimate outcome focused on regenerating the audience base for jazz and strengthening the field.

This document is a summary of the seven key JAI findings.
Click here for the full summary of the national convening.

A public webinar was held on 10/21/11 to share the key topics from the convening.

Jazz Audiences Initiative – Request for Proposals

Jazz Arts Group has been awarded funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to conduct programming and marketing experiments based on results of the Jazz Audiencies Initiative (JAI) study, released in October 2011. JAG is looking for three organizations to participate in theory-to-practice experiments linked to the study’s key findings.

Click here for the JAI Theory-to-Practice Experiment Partners Request for Proposals (RFP).

Jazz Audiences Initiative at JEN and APAP Conferences

The Jazz Arts Group was represented in a big way during the recent Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference in Louisville, KY between January 5 & 7, 2012. The international conference draws over 3,000 jazz educators, presenters, producers, managers, students, and world-class musicians. The collaborative spirit of the conference is unique because everyone has a deep passion for the presentation and preservation of jazz. The theme of the conference, Developing Tomorrow’s Jazz Audiences Today, was clearly aligned with the focus of the Jazz Audiences Initiative.

JAG spent several months working with JEN leadership to plan a track of 17 workshops, all linked to the JAI findings. Throughout the three days of workshops, over 400 people participated in JAI related activities. Feedback was amazingly positive.

Add to that more than 100 people who attended the keynote by Alan Brown of WolfBrown, the approximately 500 people who attended performances by the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, and one can clearly see that JAG had a strong presence on an international stage.

Following the JEN Conference, Christy Farnbauch and Bob Breithaupt traveled to New York to present at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference (APAP), January 9 & 10. Again, the data was enthusiastically received and discussed. Many of the challenges and questions posed by the audience are addressed in the JAI research. In addition, JAG is highlighted in Inside Arts, a national publication from APAP, in an article entitled, Connect the Dots: How Can a 21st Century Jazz Community Coalesce?