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Jazz Arts Group releases national data for regenerating jazz audiences

17 October 2011 No Comment

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) has released findings from a 21-month research project focused on current and potential jazz ticket buyers across the U.S. and in Central Ohio. Funded in part by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) with a $200,000 grant, the Jazz Audiences Initiative (JAI), is a first-of-its-kind study designed to explore how and why people engage with jazz. The main goal was to learn new ways for engaging audiences, and infusing the art form with new energy.

Jazz Audience Initiative Key Findings:

  1. Tastes in music are socially transmitted.
  2. Across western-based art forms, jazz still draws a relatively diverse audience.
  3. Consumption of jazz is artist-driven.
  4. Music preferences are shaped by local programming.
  5. Younger buyers have categorically more eclectic tastes in music.
  6. There are many musical pathways into jazz.
  7. Jazz buyers strongly prefer informal settings.

“This research provides deep insights into the ways contemporary audiences are choosing to participate in and engage with the arts, and specifically creative forms of music, such as jazz,” expressed Robert Breithaupt, Executive Director of the Jazz Arts Group. “From the beginning, we worked collaboratively with our national research partners to share information and new ideas. We’re now turning our attention to putting this research into practice and considering the implications of this important data for our organization. We hope other organizations will join us in this work to strengthen the field.”

The Jazz Arts Group served as the lead organization for this project with the following research partners: Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York; San Francisco Jazz (SFJAZZ); Jazz St. Louis; Monterey Jazz Festival, California; and Scullers Jazz Club, Boston. In addition, 13 major university presenters also participated in the study; including, University of Florida Performing Arts; University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium; and The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts. The team of highly-skilled national researchers consisting of Alan S. Brown, Principal, Jennifer Novak-Leonard, and Rebecca Ratzkin, Senior Research Consultants, WolfBrown; Joe Heimlich, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Learning Innovation; and Jerry Yoshitomi, Chief Knowledge Officer, Meaning Matters, LLC continue to assist JAG staff with understanding and using audience participation trends and data collected for the Jazz Audiences Initiative.

Additional funding for the project was secured from the Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council and The Columbus Foundation.

For additional information or to review the full reports, visit:

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation:

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

The foundation’s Arts Program supports performing artists in contemporary dance, jazz and theatre, and the nonprofit arts organizations that nurture these artists and produce and present these art forms.

About the Jazz Arts Group:

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world’s finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG’s extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a new jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.