Where are the women?
The late-night Jazz Fest landscape is a monolith of the masculine: choice gigs stacked with marquee-worthy names, all with one thing in common: they’re 80 to 100% dudes.
It’s 2019! This is the standard we want to bear?
I have massive respect for the players on these bills and I’m not arguing that there aren’t good gigs for female performers in general. My issue is the dearth of creative gatekeepers at key New Orleans venues. On the busiest nights of the year, where are the innovators driven to open doors for underrepresented artists?
I appreciate your calls for leadership and new approaches to presenting music in this incredible place. We need so many things, but one major venue leveraging the formidable booking resources of Jazz Fest season could spark inclusivity in place of obsolescence.
The women are ready.
—Alison McConnell, New Orleans, Louisiana
Know what it means
Listening to Basin Street’s latest CD dose of what I miss the most (Live at the Little Gem Saloon this year) and reading this month’s OffBeat issue while singing along with Kermit and when the record ends maybe WWOZ on the computer live from the Fair Grounds. I can almost smell it but missing Jazz Fest again. So thanks OffBeat (and Basin Street) for making me ache less for what I miss the most and for another Fest wrap-up when it comes in the post, when I’ll put on the red beans and rice and Live at the Little Gem Saloon again and sigh, because you know what it means.
—Joseph Blake, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
I subscribed for several years but gave it up when I had just too many magazine subscriptions and wasn’t getting to read any of them.
During that time, I even had a couple “Letters to the Editor” in OffBeat printed, very exciting.
Once at a festival in Maryland, I went up to David Doucet of BeauSoleil to introduce myself. When I said my name was Steve Lodge from Bethesda, Maryland, he said “Oh yeah, I saw your letter in OffBeat.”
That was one of the coolest moments in my admittedly non-dramatic life!
—Steve Lodge, Bethesda, Maryland
OffBeat welcomes letters from its readers—both comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.