Cult of Celebrity

I’m not a big jazz fan, but just read an interview with the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein. This guy has definitely been around, and I really appreciated some of what he had to say about the direction of the music industry.

“I am very unhappy in what is happening, in not just jazz, but in show business in general because the only thing people are interested in is celebrity nowadays. That’s the only thing that really sells tickets,” said Wein.

“The concept of creating a great cultural event — it doesn’t have the meaning it had before. This is a world of celebrity. You put one name on there that has what you call celebrity and it sells more tickets in one hour than you can sell in 6 months to a great festival,” said Wein.

“I worry about that because there’s not that much celebrity involved in jazz at the moment. It’s just great music.”

—Aug 06, 2004