22 November 2015


A correspondent from Connecticut set me thinking. She said it is a wonderful thing that - thanks to YouTube - performances by the bands on Royal Street, New Orleans, can be enjoyed within hours by viewers all over the world. She said it's as if we are all attending a 'Global Concert'.

That's exactly how it is. I constantly receive e-mails from fans saying 'Have you seen this latest YouTube  video? It's terrific.' In my turn, I pass on such tips to other friends. So these performances become what journalists call 'Breaking News', spreading rapidly throughout the world.

The quality of much of the video work is first-class. A recent e-mailer told me that watching some of the videos is 'almost like being right there in the street'. We are all grateful, I'm sure, to the video-makers - those with the codenames digitalalexa, RaoulDuke504, jazzbo43, Dmitriy Prityikin, Wild Bill, guitarded71 and many more.

The musicianship is some of the best to be witnessed anywhere. So we must also be grateful to the musicians, who do not mind their performances being enjoyed free of charge throughout many different countries.
In its turn, however, YouTube is helping to spread the fame of these great bands. Correspondents often tell me they would never have heard of such bands as Tuba Skinny and The Smoking Time Jazz Club and The Shotgun Jazz Band, had it not been for YouTube. And many say they decided to take a vacation in New Orleans as a result of watching these videos.

Yes, how things have changed since the days when the best that fans could do was to save up for the latest 78 rpm record of Jelly Roll Morton or Louis Armstrong. We are indeed fortunate to enjoy the immediate aural and visual gratification that comes from living in the great technological age of Traditional Jazz Concert 'Breaking News'.
The book Enjoying Traditional Jazz, by Pops Coffee, is available from Amazon.