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If 99% of Jazz Sucks and the Audience is Withering Away, Can Carsie Blanton Save Jazz?

Thanks Ian for writing this. The article has originally been published on Launch and Release. Published August 28 2013.

  by Ian

Trolling crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter to discover awesome new music certainly has its ups and downs. It seems a lot easier to be uninspired by a project than to walk away feeling moved.

But every once in awhile you will run across a project that is not only obviously going to be awesome, it could be a COMPLETE GAME-CHANGER.

Here is today's hint: Carsie Blanton.

An independent singer/songwriter with quite a bit of panache, edge and provocativeness, Carsie has decided to take her significant talents and swagger into a genre that is on life support.

No Wonder The Jazz Audience Is Withering Away

In this Wall Street Journal article.Terry Teachout points out that over the last few decades, America's jazz audience has shrank by 30% and has aged significantly.

The conclusion is obvious: jazz is dying.

A 2-second Google search will find articles that discuss if listening to jazz is hard work or how to listen to jazz music. Then there is the page that suggests you need "formal study" to be a jazz listener!

According to Carsie, only 1% of current jazz music is "actually good". 

The rest is either too cheesy, too weird, too new-agey or completely non-original. And this comes from a girl who is a self-proclaimed jazz geek! She loves jazz!

Little wonder that jazz is losing ground.

Carsie's Mission: Save Jazz From The Snobs and Return it to Normal People

Carsie's Kickstarter project is ballsy, no doubt, but it's authentic and comes at a time when jazz  needs it.

In her Kickstarter video, Carsie points out that "there was a time when jazz music was not just for geeks and old people. It was for everybody and it still is. It's not just for musicians or people who went to jazz school or black people..."

Though current jazz favors "smart, impressive and virtuosic playing" and singers that "will blow your mind with amazing vocal acrobatics and clever note choices", she takes a different approach.

She can "sing the sh*t out of each song, like [she] means it."

She has devoted her life to the craft and has received the attention of some big time artists who know a thing or two about crafting a beautiful song such as Paul Simon, Loudon Wainwright III, Joan Oates and Peter Mulvey who says, "Carsie's lyrics are an iron fist in the velvet glove of her voice."

And that is authentic as all hell especially to modern day pop fans who are used to over-produced artists and studio magic.

It is going to take a person like like Carsie to help normal, everyday people relate to how badass the jazz genre can be.

At the end of the day, this project has the potential to absolutely knock it out of the park and to help reboot an entire musical genre!

If you are interested in seeing what Carsie is up to, click the link to view her Kickstarter Project.