Get to know Eric Davis, the first-ever Gretsch Distinguished Scholar of Guitar/Music Industry

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
555
New York
Jazz was first being taken seriously at the university level when I was a student from 1967 to 1971. It's taken a long time for guitar music to be taken as seriously and it's taken a Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music to do it. Too long in coming.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,248
lafayette in
Jazz was first being taken seriously at the university level when I was a student from 1967 to 1971. It's taken a long time for guitar music to be taken as seriously and it's taken a Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music to do it. Too long in coming.
Jazz has always been important at the Indiana U School of Music. I worked for the music dept. for a couple of years in the early/mid '70s, and, as well as classical, jazz was a pretty big part. You didn't find students playing jazz in the local bars---the profs were.

Booker T graduated from IU Music with a degree in trombone. "Green Onions" and session work in Memphis paid for his schooling. It's also John Mellenkamp's stomping ground, as well as Bill Monroe's.

At Purdue, the Uni's jazz band is second to none. We'd have a huge jazz festival every January. High schools and unis from all over the Midwest would attend. Collegiate and secondary schools tend toward big band styles, obviously, just to give all of the students that wanted to play a chance.

One thing I've noticed is the proliferation of Roland JC120s---most of them with damaged cabinets. That angle iron doesn't seem to help much.
 
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BCRatRod73

Synchromatic
Sep 1, 2020
779
Mississippi
With Rock music you play three chords in front of fifty thousand people.
With Jazz music you play fifty thousand chords in front of three people.
Seriously though, jazz guitar is definitely not my thing but those guys are really skilled.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,951
Petaluma
Jazz was first being taken seriously at the university level when I was a student from 1967 to 1971. It's taken a long time for guitar music to be taken as seriously and it's taken a Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music to do it. Too long in coming.
Yea and jazz, real good jazz, had been around for decades before that. But it was an um minority music and it didn't get accepted by the majority establishment til later.

Not sure what you mean about guitars being taken seriously. Berkelee has like 40 guitar faculty. My buddies studied jazz guitar in colleges across the US 30 years ago. Great that the Gretsch family supports guitar music scholarship but they are far from the first.

Sad fact is music is taken seriously not based on the quality of the music, but the demographics of the musicians playing or appreciating it.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,248
lafayette in
Sad fact is music is taken seriously not based on the quality of the music, but the demographics of the musicians playing or appreciating it.
Follow the money. In the theater business, we have what is called SOB---symphony, opera, and ballet. If they weren't subsidized, they would cease to exist. There's not enough audience draw to cover their costs, much less make any profit. The real money makers are concessions and merchandising. Rock/country/hip-hop barely cover their operating costs. The performers and promoters make their cut from ticket sales. The money from merch is their real profit, and the concessions make money for the venue. There's always alcohol involved.
 

Emergence

Synchromatic
May 25, 2022
555
New York
Not sure what you mean about guitars being taken seriously. Berkelee has like 40 guitar faculty. My buddies studied jazz guitar in colleges across the US 30 years ago. Great that the Gretsch family supports guitar music scholarship but they are far from the first.
Berkeley advertised in Downbeat when I was in college. I played bass in a jazz combo my freshman year that made it to the Villanova Intercollegiate Jazz Festival in ‘68 but it’s funny that none of the combos were official music department jazz combos. I understand your demographics comment but think jazz getting short shrift in academia has more to do with the focus on “serious”, meaning classical, music as anything else.

Show music was tolerated as being a step above pop. We always played a Broadway overture at concerts in high school because it was recognizable to mom and dad and easy to play.
 

BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
776
Prague, CZ
I know the focus here is on performance and conservatories, but music and cultural historians have focused intensely on jazz for the last 60 years, often to the exclusion of other forms and genres (besides classical) until very recently.
 


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