As readers of OffBeat, OffBeat.com and the Weekly Beat know, New Orleans is a musical city. But—let’s say the CVB was going to use music to “brand” the city, what type of music or musicians would be most appropriate?
We know that every musician and band hates to be pigeon-holed or categorized into a particular type of music, but when it comes down to the dollars and cents, sense and demographics of the current market, and creating and sustaining different visitor markets (maybe younger and more hip?), how should we most effectively brand New Orleans as a music city?
Should we throw all of our eggs in the jazz basket? After all, jazz is the city’s gift to the world. But does the word “jazz” appeal to all the different sorts of people who may want to come to the city to experience our music and culture?
Will the Preservation Hall Jazz Band appeal to someone who’s more into pop/rock? Or Swamp Pop? Cajun or zydeco? (Bear with me: I certainly know that New Orleans holds no claim to Cajun and zydeco, but NOLA certainly is a gateway for visitors who want to experience it).
How about brass bands? Funk? Classic New Orleans R&B? Jam-fusion? Do those genres fall under “jazz”?
How do we convey that New Orleans is the most musical city on earth to people who kinda know that New Orleans has music but still don’t exactly know what they are going to hear. Should we stick with jazz?
If you’ve ever driven to the airport, I’m sure you’ve seen the welcome sign that says “We’re JAZZED you’re here!”
Should we continue with jazz or try something else? What do you think?